Digital Literature Review, Undergraduate Journal, Monsters Issue

deadline for submissions: 
January 9, 2017
full name / name of organization: 
Digital Literature Review: An Online Journal of Undergraduate Research
contact email: 

Literature abounds with monsters - from the dragons that plague medieval towns to the vampires that rise from nineteenth-century graves to the aliens, cyborgs, and zombies that serve as the basis of our contemporary nightmares. The prevalence of these creatures prompts literary critics to ask why they haunt us. What can we learn from a closer examination of these fictional monsters?

In “Monster Culture (Seven Theses),” Jeffrey Jerome Cohen defines the monster as “the embodiment of a certain culture moment—of a time, a feeling, and a place.” For Cohen, monsters are the manifestations of societal fears. In attempting to understand them, we learn about the cultures that produced them as well as about ourselves. Literary monsters can force us to confront the things we’d rather repress. They can police our cultural boundaries or push heroes and heroines beyond them. They enact our hidden fears or our secret desires. Monsters bring out our best selves or reflect our worst; they can reaffirm the norms in the face of otherness or force us to question those norms. In Cohen’s words, monsters “ask us why we have created them.”

The Digital Literature Review, an online journal of undergraduate research (, seeks scholarly essays by undergraduate students that examine literary and filmic representations of monsters. Possible topics include:

  • Literary monsters, whether they lurk within classics, such as Frankenstein and Dracula, or more recent books, such as those by Stephen King and J. K. Rowling.
  • Monsters from international folk and fairy lore, such as the Japanese Kappa, the Greek Minotaur, and the American Sasquatch.
  • Monsters from films, video games, and television shows, such as Supernatural or the Legend of Zelda series.

Guidelines to submit to the Journal:

  • Please save your document as a PDF.
  • Papers should be between 2,500 and 5,000 words.
  • Submissions are to be well researched and must contribute to ongoing scholarly conversation.
  • All submissions will be blindly reviewed, so please do not put your name on your essay.
  • Submissions will close on January 9, 2017.

We also welcome shorter original submissions for the journal’s accompanying blog. Guidelines to submit to the Blog:

  • Should address the theme “Monsters.”
  • Should be in MLA style format.
  • Posts should be between 400 and 700 words.
  • Blog submissions should be saved as a PDF.
  • Possible Blog submissions may include but are not limited to: reviews of movies, books or television programs, short analyses of texts or of individual episodes or portions of texts, interesting findings that emerge from a research project, etc.

After submitting:

  • The editing team will decide whether to accept your essay or not.
  • If accepted, you will have a chance to revise your piece and return it to the Digital Literature Review at Along with this, you will need to include an abstract and a short bio about yourself.