Beyond the Monstrous: Reading from the Cultural Imaginary
Twenty-first century’s fascination with monsters in popular culture is not new. Throughout history, many of the world’s cultures have created beings they deem ‘other’ and ‘monstrous,’ beings which, many scholars agree, ultimately reveal humans’ own fears about themselves. This collection of interdisciplinary studies, Beyond the Monstrous: Readings from the Cultural Imaginary, explores constructions of the ‘monstrous’ from several vantage points, such as the popularity of today’s Twilight saga, to the hermaphrodite and questions of sexuality in seventeenth-century English print culture, and to the post-industrial ruins of Japan’s landscapes. The scholars of this text demonstrate that concepts of monstrosity frequently veil socio-political anxieties of a given culture or historical moment. More significantly, the scholars here emphasise the ethical ramifications of the ways in which humanity creates, analyses, and treats its monsters.