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IMC 2009: Sessions

Session 615: Unorthodox Beings, I: We Are Our Monstrous Others

Tuesday 14 July 2009, 11.15-12.45

Sponsor:Monsters: The Experimental Association for the Research of Cryptozoology through Scholarly Theory And Practical Application (MEARCSTAPA) / Glasgow Centre for Medieval and 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 615-a'Nun weiz ich nit warumb ich her solte': Observations on the Role of Giants in Orendel
(Language: English)
Tina M. Boyer, Department of German, Wake Forest University, North Carolina
Index terms: Geography and Settlement Studies, Language and Literature - German
Paper 615-bVocabulary and the Minds of the Monsters in Beowulf
(Language: English)
Michael Daniel Elliot, Centre for Medieval Studies, University of Toronto, Downtown
Index terms: Language and Literature - Old English, Mentalities
Paper 615-cMonstrosity and Disability in the Middle Ages
(Language: English)
Derek Newman-Stille, Trent University, Ontario
Index terms: Art History - Painting, Language and Literature - Comparative, Medicine

The three papers in this session focus on the blurring of the division between 'us' and our monstrous 'others'. The papers tackle this issue from different perspectives, examining the role monstrosity played in helping groups define their identity. Court culture, the heroic comitatus, and the even the able-bodied used constructs of monsters to define themselves; and yet, when carefully examined, these narratives reveal a lack of distance between us and them which destabilizes the very boundaries they are designed to reify.