IMC 2008: Sessions

Session 523: The Unnatural World, IV: Socio-Political Monsters

Tuesday 8 July 2008, 09.00-10.30

Sponsor:Glasgow Centre for Medieval & Renaissance Studies, University of Glasgow
Organiser:Asa S. Mittman, Department of Art & Art History, California State University, Chico
Moderator/Chair:Asa S. Mittman, Department of Art & Art History, California State University, Chico
Paper 523-aNatural Monstrosity in Beowulf
(Language: English)
Craig R. Davis, Smith College, Massachusetts
Index terms: Language and Literature - Old English, Political Thought
Paper 523-bUnnatural Bodies: Cannibalism and Gender
(Language: English)
Heather Blurton, Department of English UC Santa Barbara SANTA BARBARA CA 93106-3170
Index terms: Gender Studies, Language and Literature - Old English, Language and Literature - Latin, Sexuality
Paper 523-cThe Wife's Lament and the Elusive Abode
(Language: English)
Sally-Jayne Gilpin, Collin County Community College District, Texas
Index terms: Architecture - General, Language and Literature - Old English

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 interplay of monstrosity and society. As notions of monstrosity were often rooted in a sense of difference from the standards of normative society, the definitions of these two seeming disparate categories were mutually dependant, as will be explored in these papers.