The Monstrous

full name / name of organization: 
Arena Romanistica - Journal of Romance Studies
contact email: 

ARENA ROMANISTICA. JOURNAL OF ROMANCE STUDIES - a print academic journal published by the Department of Foreign Languages at the University of Bergen - announces a call for paper on the topic of the "monstrous", a term that could be applied in a range of contexts and fields.

As we know, the word monster --and its versions in French (monstre), Italian (mostro), Spanish (monstruo), and Portuguese (monstro)-- comes from the Latin word monstrare, which means to show. On the other hand the word monstrum, from monere (to warn), makes of the monster a sign of caution, a reminder of the dangers and threats that lurk around us.

In times of crisis our imagination turns to the monstrous in order to make the conflicts of the world around us tangible, more concrete, and, therefore, maybe even beatable. Traditionally, the aesthetic representations of the monstrous have been a way to safely explore and question the horrors experienced in society. The 21st century seems to be no exception, and today's culture can be said to mark a new era of the monstrous. Neo-gothic novels and films flourish in our pop culture, and these can often be interpreted as allegories for contemporary dystopian scenarios.
On the other hand, our conception of the monster and the monstrous is closely related to our understanding of what is human and what is not. Therefore, vampires, cyborgs, zombies, superheroes, hermaphrodites, and all kinds of imaginable monsters contest the limits of the human and its representation through time.

With this in mind, we welcome contributions to our journal in both Romance languages and English; theoretical reflections as well as empirical studies and readings of individual works.

Possible topics may include, but are not limited to, the following:
• Monsters in film and literature
• The history of monstrosity
• Dreams and nightmares
• Transgression, exclusion and marginality
• Bodily excesses or lacks
• Gender norms and deviance
• Monster as a sociocultural component
• The monstrous in linguistics
• Linguistic politics and/or the restriction of linguistic liberty
• The monstrous as allegory for social crisis
• The cartography of monsters
• The rhetoric of the monstrous

We welcome manuscripts from the field of linguistics, literature, film, and cultural studies. All contributions should have a connection to Romance studies.

Deadline for submission of papers: September 1, 2013.

Stylesheet and submission procedures are available at our website:

For further information: