Monster Studies and Pedagogy: Rocky Mountain MLA Special Topics Session 2016

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Rocky Mountain Modern Language Association
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In response to the question, "What do composition instructors do to engage disinterested students?" academia has one response gaining rapid popularity: "Monster Studies." Intellectual interest in monsters is not new. With high profile academics like Jeffrey Jerome Cohen and Kyle Bishop addressing "Monster Studies," educators exploring monsters find success in engaging students with (pop)culturally relevant examinations of literature and media. Taking its origin from the Latin monstrare, which means "to reveal," monsters are physical embodiments of cultural anxieties.

Monster Studies is a growing sub-discipline within English and Cultural Studies. Some scholars have been incorporating monsters into their classrooms as a way to not only teach tenuous topics in a college classroom (e.g. sexism, racism, classism) but to engage students through a new, innovative discussions.

This session seeks proposals addressing Monster Studies in several contexts from the classroom to literary studies. Potential proposals may address
-Monsters in the composition classroom
-Monsters as a theme in literary studies
-The presence of monsters in film/television/new media, especially in popular shows like Penny Dreadful, iZombie, The Vampire Diaries, The Originals, The Walking Dead, or others.
-The transformation of modern monsters from traditional predecessors
-Generational engagement with monsters/monstrosity (i.e. Boomers, Gen X, Millennials)
-The proliferation of romanticized or sexualized monsters
-Discussions of monsters as "stand-ins" for complex, difficult issues (e.g. race, gender, sex, religion, classism)
-Papers examining cultural significance of a particular monster (e.g. vampire, zombie, werewolves, ghosts, ghouls, slasher villains, serial killers).

Papers on any topic of monster studies, and especially pedagogy and classroom contexts, are welcomed for consideration. Please submit an abstract of 250-300 words to *no later* than February 15, 2016.

Please send all formal submissions as well as inquiries to The RMMLA 2016 Conference will take place October 6-8 2016 in Salt Lake City, Utah. For more information on the conference location as well as significant dates, please visit