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Monsters
2nd Global Inclusive Interdisciplinary Conference

 

Saturday 1st May 2021 – Sunday 2nd May 2021
Online

This event has been moved online due to COVID-19.
 
“I’m hated, execrated, those I meet are repelled by me. They want me crucified, and maybe their feelings are all too justified,” sang the American band The Bastard Fairies in their 2010 title track “Man-Made Monster.” The lyrics of the song oscillate between cackling threats of murder and cannibalism, and the lament, “It didn’t have to be this way, I’m a man-made monster led astray.”

Such is the paradox of the monster and its appeal: simultaneously a true threat, and the object of sympathy. Monsters have been used for millennia to frighten and control – from children’s stories that threaten them with monsters if they don’t listen to their parents, to propaganda that instills a fear of a monstrous Other to encourage citizens to go to war. But history is also replete with misunderstood monsters, creatures who are misjudged, and perhaps even become monstrous because of the judgement they experience. In the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, misunderstood monsters may even have outnumbered sincerely scary ones.

This conference is an interdisciplinary exploration of the variety of monsters, from gooey spider-legged creatures under the bed, to serial killers safely locked in jail and historical memory. Why do cultures create such abundances of monsters, both in fiction and in our tellings of reality? What are their functions, their roles in society, their cultural impacts? And at the same time, what draws so many people to the monstrous? Are we driven by some primal urge to touch evil, or is there a redemptive impulse in the desire to save a misunderstood creature or person?

This project will take a broad definition of “monsters” and “the monstrous,” including creatures, people, actions, and events with a view to forming a series of innovative interdisciplinary publications and future collaborations among other project plans.

Consistent with its interdisciplinary ethos, the event proposes to step outside the traditional conference setting and offer opportunities for artists, practitioners, theorists, independent scholars, performers, writers, and others to intermingle, providing platforms for interdisciplinary interactions. The organisers welcome proposals for presentations, displays, round-tables, panels, interactive workshops and other activities to stimulate engagement and discussion on any aspect of the interplay between monsters, monstrosities and the monstrous.

Key Topics

Key topics, themes and issues for discussion may include, but are definitely not limited to:

  • Monsters as instruments of control (Krampus, “the bogeyman will get you”)
  • Representations of monstrosity
  • Sympathetic monsters (intentional and unintentional)
  • The “monstrous” body in history and medicine
  • The monstrous feminine, monsters as gendered beings
  • Reclaiming monsters, monsters as empowerment
  • Monsters of our childhood/children and monsters
  • Global monsters, monsters from global folklore
  • Funny monsters/making fun of monsters
  • Real-life monsters: serial killers, sex criminals, “sociopaths”
  • Political monsters and monsters as instruments of propaganda
  • Monstrous technologies
  • Monsters in literature, film, theatre, etc
  • What makes someone recognizable as a monster?
  • Religion and monsters – devils, demons, fantastic beasts
  • The monster as a metaphor
  • Monsters and fear, the psychology of the monstrous

Presentations will also be accepted which deal solely with specific monsters.

What To Send

The aim of this interdisciplinary conference and collaborative networking event is to bring people together and encourage creative conversations in the context of a variety of formats: papers, seminars, workshops, storytelling, performances, poster presentations, panels, q&a’s, round-tables etc.

300 word proposals, presentations, abstracts and other forms of contribution and participation should be submitted by 31st January 2021. Other forms of participation should be discussed in advance with the Organising Chair.

All submissions will be minimally double reviewed, under anonymous (blind) conditions, by a global panel drawn from members of the Project Development Team and the Advisory Board. In practice our procedures usually entail that by the time a proposal is accepted, it will have been triple and quadruple reviewed.

You will be notified of the panel’s decision by 5th February 2021

If your submission is accepted for the conference, a full draft of your contribution should be submitted by 25th April 2021.

Abstracts and proposals may be in Word, PDF, RTF or Notepad formats with the following information and in this order:
a) author(s), b) affiliation as you would like it to appear in the programme, c) email address, d) title of proposal, e) body of proposal, f) up to 10 keywords.

E-mails should be entitled: Monsters Submission.

Where To Send

Abstracts should be submitted simultaneously to the Organising Chair and the Project Administrator:

Lorraine Rumson: lorraine@progressiveconnexions.net
Project Administratorviennamonsters@progressiveconnexions.net

Details and Information

 

Registration Fees

The cost for attending the conference is £151, and includes:

~ conference registration fee
~ online registration
~ online abstract and programme submissions
~ access to the conferencing platform
~ ~ a virtual registration areas where conference information and materials will be available
~~  virtual ePoster possibilities
~ ~ virtual break out rooms
~ ~ virtual one-to-one meeting capabilities
~ ~ virtual networking rooms

~ electronic book of Abstracts
~ access to downloads of all conference materials
~ physical copy book of abstracts (on request)

~ participation in project output discussion session
~ live session with the publications team as part of a development meeting
~ discounted rates for any outputs emerging from the event

Calendar of time-lines and deadlines

31st January 2021
Abstract/Presentation submission

5th February 2021
Acceptance/Rejection notification

5th March 2021
Booking Form Submissions
Invoices issued

19th March 2021
Circulation of Draft Programme

5th April 2021
Final date for payment

19th April 2021
Circulation of Revised Programme

25th April 2021
Full draft of presentation to be submitted

The conferences, meetings and events we organise are not single ‘one-off’ events. They are part of a continual stream of conversations, activities and projects which grow and evolve in different directions. At the conclusion of every meeting, the question needs to be considered: What happens next? After all, there is little personal, educational or professional benefit in gathering people together from around the world and sharing all sorts of fascinating conversations if nothing further is going to happen as a result!

The possible ranges of ‘outputs’ which can productively flow from our meetings is a dynamic response to the dialogues, issues and engagements that take place during the events themselves. And as our meetings are attended by folks who come from different backgrounds, contexts, professions and vocations, what people would like to see developed as a result of our time spent together will always be potentially diverse, fluid and appropriate to what took place.

One range of possible outputs involves publication as a way of continuing the work of a project. Where publishing is a possibility, it is directly referenced in the Call for Papers, Presentations and Participation. Other possible outputs may include, but are not limited to:
~ social media platforms such as Facebook pages and groups, blogs, wikis, Twitter, as vehicles for continuing dialogues, disseminating knowledge and information and bringing new people into the work of the project
~ reviews; reports; policy statements; position papers/statements; declarations of principles
~ proposals for meetings, workshops, courses, schools
~ collaboration gateways, platforms and media
~ personal and professional development opportunities: faculty development; mentoring programmes; cultural cruises; consultancies; summer schools; personal enrichment programmes

The range of outputs is dependent on how little or how much you would like to become involved. Don’t let the end of the meeting signal the end of your involvement with the project. Please get involved, bounce ideas around, think out loud – we’d love to hear about what you’d like to do and are always happy to talk about what is possible.

Payment Process
Participants must complete the online booking form by 5th March 2021 at the latest.
After the deadline has expired, an invoice will be drawn up and sent to you; the invoice will contain all the necessary information for you to pay by bank transfer, Paypal or credit card.
The invoice must be settled by 5th April 2021.

It is the responsibility of delegates to ensure that payment is made by this date. Failure to receive payment will result in your booking being cancelled.

Payment Methods
There are a number of ways payment can be made.

Bank Transfer

Payment may be made using bank transfer. There will be an option to pay in either GBP (£ Sterling) or Euro (€). Full details to enable a bank transfer are made available on your conference invoice. If paying by this method, you must agree to pay all charges at the sending and receiving banks.

By Invoice
You may request that an invoice be sent to you which you may forward to your institution. It is your responsibility to ensure that the invoice is paid before the payment deadline.

Online
Your invoice will include a link to pay through a secure and encrypted online payment system. Please click the link to use this method.

Credit Card
Payment may also be made using credit card. We cannot accept American Express or Discovery as a form of payment.

Paypal
Payment may also be made using Paypal. If paying by this method please send us the email account connected with your Paypal account and we will forward you a request for payment.

IMPORTANT

All fees are payable in advance. No delegate will be permitted entry to the conference if an invoice is still unpaid.

We appreciate that in 2021, a lot of folks are already Skype and Zoom fatigued! This is why we have been taking our time to partner with the British software developer ShockLogic, to create a customised Progressive Connexions oriented digital platform which will hopefully allow us to create a unique virtual environment which will let us stage as closely as possible the kinds of face-to-face 'in person' encounters and engagements which we successfully achieve in the seminar rooms.

The particular aspects of the platform means we have:
~ online registration
~ a secure platform available only to conference attendees
~ a networking area that can serve as a social hall akin to our typical registration and refreshment areas where folks can meet, see materials and information, chat etc
~ online abstract and programme submissions
~ ePoster capabilities
~ break out rooms where needed
~ one-to-one meeting capabilities
~ networking rooms

The video calls themselves are zoom-based, but embedded within the ShockLogic platform, they share the same sense of community and continuity that we are so committed to in in-person events.

What’s so Special?

A fresh, friendly, dynamic format – at Progressive Connexions we are dedicated to breaking away from the stuffy, old-fashion conference formats, where endless presentations are read aloud off PowerPoints. We work to bring you an interactive format, where exchange of experience and information is alternated with captivating workshops, engaging debates and round tables, time set aside for getting to know each other and for discussing common future projects and initiatives, all in a warm, relaxed, egalitarian atmosphere.

 

A chance to network with international professionals – the beauty of our interdisciplinary events is that they bring together professionals from all over the world and from various fields of activity, all joined together by a shared passion. Not only will the exchange of experience, knowledge and stories be extremely valuable in itself, but we seek to create lasting, ever-growing communities around our projects, which will become a valuable resource for those belonging to them.

 

A chance to be part of constructing change – There is only one thing we love as much as promoting knowledge: promoting real, lasting social change by encouraging our participants to take collective action, under whichever form is most suited to their needs and expertise (policy proposals, measuring instruments, research projects, educational materials, etc.) We will support all such actions in the aftermath of the event as well, providing a platform for further discussions, advice from the experts on our Project Advisory Team and various other tools and intellectual resources, as needed.

 

An opportunity to discuss things that matter to you – Our events are not only about discussing how things work in the respective field, but also about how people work in that field – what are the struggles, problems and solutions professionals have found in their line of work, what are the areas where better communication among specialists is needed and how the interdisciplinary approach can help bridge those gaps and help provide answers to questions from specific areas of activity.

 

An unforgettable experience – When participating in a Progressive Connexions event, there is a good chance you will make some long-time friends. Our group sizes are intimate, our venues are comfortable and relaxing and our event locations are suited to the history and culture of the event.

Ethos

Progressive Connexions believes it is a mark of personal courtesy and professional respect to your colleagues that all delegates should attend for the full duration of the meeting. If you are unable to make this commitment, please do not submit an abstract or proposal for presentation.

 

Please note: Progressive Connexions is a not-for-profit network and we are not in a position to be able to assist with conference travel or subsistence, nor can we offer discounts off published rates and fees.

Progressive Connexions is a not-for-profit network inspiring inclusive interdisciplinary research, publishing and collaboration

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