IMC 2008: Sessions

Session 223: The Unnatural World, II: Visualizing Monsters

Monday 7 July 2008, 14.15-15.45

Sponsor:International Center of Medieval Art, The Cloisters, New York
Organiser:Asa S. Mittman, Department of Art & Art History, California State University, Chico
Moderator/Chair:Nicholas B. Deford, School of Art, Arizona State University
Paper 223-aWhere are the Monsters?: Ireland as Civilised Space on the Hereford Map
(Language: English)
Diarmuid Scully, Department of History, University College Cork
Index terms: Art History - Painting, Geography and Settlement Studies, Language and Literature - Latin, Local History
Paper 223-bUnnatural Women, Invisible Mothers: Monstrous Female Bodies in the Wonders of the East
(Language: English)
Dana Oswald, Department of English, University of Wisconsin-Parkside
Index terms: Art History - Painting, Gender Studies, Language and Literature - Old English, Sexuality
Paper 223-cGhoul, Interrupted: Society, Religion, and the Undead in Njáls saga
(Language: English)
Alistair McLennan, School of Critical Studies (English Literature), University of Glasgow
Index terms: Language and Literature - Old English, Language and Literature - Scandinavian, Pagan Religions, Religious Life

Many scholars have turned to issues of monstrosity and abnormal geographies, using these themes to draw conclusions about medieval cultures and discourses. Such subjects are often viewed as being aberrations, outside of nature. One of four interrelated sessions proposed on ‘The Unnatural World’ (conceived in response to and in accordance with the year’s theme), this panel focuses on the depictions of monstrous Others – differing from their medieval audiences in race, gender, species, culture, diet, and location – that reveal a great deal about the cultures by which they were created and so form powerful loci for art historical, literary, and theoretical investigation.