We live in a time of monsters. Monsters provide a key to understanding the culture that spawned them. So argue the essays in this wide-ranging and fascinating collection that asks the question, What happens when critical theorists take the study of monsters seriously as a means of examining our culture?
In viewing the monstrous body as a metaphor for the cultural body, the contributors to Monster Theory consider beasts, demons, freaks, and fiends as symbolic expressions of cultural unease that pervade a society and shape its collective behavior. Through a historical sampling of monsters, these essays argue that our fascination for the monstrous testifies to our continued desire to explore difference and prohibition.
Contributors: Mary Baine Campbell, Brandeis U; David L. Clark, McMaster U; Frank Grady, U of Missouri, St. Louis; David A. Hedrich Hirsch, U of Illinois; Lawrence D. Kritzman, Dartmouth College; Kathleen Perry Long, Cornell U; Stephen Pender; Allison Pingree, Harvard U; Anne Lake Prescott, Barnard College; John O'Neill, York U; William Sayers, George Washington U; Michael Uebel, U of Virginia; Ruth Waterhouse.