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Monsters of Film, Fiction, and Fable: The Cultural Links between the Human and Inhuman

This proposed collection will explore the cultural implications of and the societal fears and desires associated with the literal monsters of fiction, television, and movies. Long tied to ideas of the Other, the inhuman have represented societal fears for centuries. While this depiction of inhuman as Other still persists today, postmodern times also saw a radical shift in the portrayals and long-held associations. The postmodern monster is by no means soft and cuddly; nevertheless, its depiction has evolved. Veering from the traditional, “us vs. them” dynamic, many contemporary works illustrate what posthuman theorists refer to as the “them” in “us” correlation. These new monsters, often found in urban fantasy, eradicate the stark separation between human and inhuman as audiences search for the similarities between themselves and their much beloved monster characters. The shifted portrayal also means that these select, postmodern monsters no longer highlight cultural fears, but rather cultural hopes, dreams, desires, and even humanity’s own inhumanity. This does not mean that the pure monsters of horror are eradicated in contemporary renderings. Instead, they too have evolved over the course of the 20th and 21st century, highlighting everything from socioeconomic anxieties to issues related to humanity and human nature.

Given the many and varied implications of the inhuman in media and their long and diverse history, this volume will examine the cultural connotations of the monstrous, focusing specifically on the monsters of modernism and postmodernism.

In particular, we are looking to fill in certain gaps, and welcome articles related to the following monsters:

– Ghosts
– Leviathons/behemoths—anything from Mothra to Dragons
– Science Fiction related monsters such as artificial intelligence and cyborgs

The proposal for this collection is in progress, and will be submitted once selections are made.

Please email the following to Lisa Wenger Bro ( by Thursday, April 30:
– a 300-350 word abstract
– a brief biography
– the estimated length of the full article
– the number of illustrations, if any, you will use (note, it will be up to individual authors to secure rights to images)

Full articles will be due by June 30. All accepted articles will be peer-reviewed.