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"Monster Culture (Seven Theses)": A Roundtable
Jeffrey Jerome Cohen's now paradigmatic manifesto on the importance of studying monsters and the monstrous, both generally in all time periods and cultures as well as in strictly medieval contexts, has influenced and inspired countless students exposed to his text in undergraduate courses, and likewise a great many working scholars and the studies they have produced since its publication in 1996. As an inaugural event for MEARCSTAPA, we seek in this roundtable to re-familiarize ourselves with the critical issues of the text, but also to evaluate, reconsider, and extend these theses for future consideration and deployment in subsequent studies. Founding members of MEARCSTAPA will share their interpretations and experiences of the text in research and teaching, and we will seek to have Cohen act as a respondent to the issues raised. Additional participants are encouraged to join the discussion. Being a panelist does not preclude being a speaker in another session.
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These two sessions are the first official action of MEARCSTAPA (Monsters: the Experimental Association for the Research of Cryptozoology through Scholarly Theory And Practical Application), a new scholarly organization dedicated to the study of monstrosity in and around the Middle Ages. If you are interested in joining the organization (no dues!) and being put on our new listserv, please write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Hot on the heals of four very successful monster sessions at Leeds, we hope to carry this project forward at Kalamazoo.