SPEAKING OF MONSTERS: A Teratological Anthology

Edited by Caroline Joan S. Picart and John Edgar Browning
Hardcover: 336 pages  

Available from 20 July 2012

            I am pleased to announce SPEAKING OF MONSTERS: A Teratological Anthology, a wonderful new book of theory of horror edited by renowned scholars, coming from a prestigious academic publisher and filled with intriguing essays by the leading scholars in the field. I'm honored to have my essay on postmodern slashers (esp. HAUTE TENSION) included in this anthology. Listed below you'll find literally "who's who" in today's horror theory!

            Brief description of the book follows.
Despite its apparently monolithic definition, 'teratology' (from the Greek words teras, meaning 'monster,' and logos, meaning 'a speaking, discourse, treatise, doctrine, theory, science') seems infinitely malleable, flourishing in various rhetorical environments. Teratologies are more than a bestiary: a catalogue of 'freaks' designed to celebrate the 'normal.' Rather, teratologies illustrate how humor, horror, fantasy and the 'real' cross-fertilize each other, resulting in the possibility of new worlds, ethics, and narratives, emerging. As a general anthology of teratologies, this book simply maps what, in many ways, has already been occurring across several fields, as it tracks the expansion of this term, creating lacunae that form connections across multiple interpretive communities. It is a cross section of how "monster narratives" intersect with "outsider" positions, from different perspectives - such as those of literary critics, film critics, criminologists, law professors, historians, philosophers - and looks into various strategies of destabilizing normative binaries.


Introduction: On Monstrosity and Multiculturalism - Caroline Joan ('Kay') S. Picart and John Edgar Browning


Monster Culture (Seven Theses) - Jeffrey Jerome Cohen

Dread, Taboo, and The Thing (1982): Toward a Social Theory of the Horror Film - Stephen Prince

Nightmare and the Horror Film: The Symbolic Biology of Fantastic Beings - Noël Carroll

Our Vampires, Our Neighbors - Ken Gelder

'Psychological Thriller': Dead of Night (1945), British Film Culture, and the 1940s Horror Cycle - Mark Jancovich


Monsters in the Literary Traditions of Asia: A Critical Appraisal - Andrew Hock-Soon Ng

Slayer as Monster in Blood+ (2005-2006) and Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1997-2003) - Margaret L. Carter

'Shapeless Deformity': Monstrosity, Visibility, and Racial Masquerade in Thomas Grattan's Cagot's Hut (1823) - Daniel Novak


Apt Pupil (1998): The Hollywood Nazi-As-Monster Flick - Caroline Joan ('Kay') S. Picart and David Frank

Demons Driven: Religious Teratologies - Jason C. Bivins

An Age of Mechanical Destruction: Power Tools and the Monstrous in The Texas Chain Saw Massacre Films - Ian Conrich


'Way Too Gay to Be Ignored?': The Production and Reception of Queer Horror Cinema in the Twenty-First Century - Harry Benshoff

Seed of Chucky: Transbiology and the Horror Flick - Judith ('Jack') Halberstam


Stage Four: Virulency - Lonnie H. Athens

Profiling the Terrorist as a Mass Murderer - Caroline Joan ('Kay') S. Picart and Cecil E. Greek

What Makes Stalking Monsters So Monstrous, and How to Survive Them? - Ôrît Kāmîr

Race and Serial Killing in the Media: The Case of Wayne Williams - Caroline Joan ('Kay') S. Picart


''Nature Abhors Normality': Theories of the Monstrous from Aristotle to The X-Files (1993-2002) - Kathleen Long

Monster Spawn of Animal Experimentation in the Early Work of H. G. Wells: On the Containment of Psychopathic Violence as Preliminary to the Onset of the Capacity for Mourning - Laurence A. Rickels

Why Is the Tension So High? The Monstrous Feminine in (Post)Modern Slasher Films - Dejan Ognjanović

Blood and Bitches: Sexual Politics and the Female Lycanthrope in Young Adult Fiction - June Pulliam


The Queer Ethics of Monstrosity
- Patricia MacCormack

Reopening the Question of the Human and the Animal - Dominick LaCapra

Where Reality and Fantasy Meet and Bifurcate: Holocaust Themes in Pan's Labyrinth (2006), X-Men (2000), and V (1983) - Caroline Joan ('Kay') S. Picart, John Edgar Browning, and Carla María Thomas

            About the editors:
CAROLINE JOAN (KAY) S. PICART formerly a tenured Associate Professor of English and Humanities at Florida State University, USA, is a Juris Doctor Candidate at the University of Florida Levin College of Law and an Adjunct Professor of Humanities at Santa Fe College. She is also currently Editor-in-chief of the Florida Journal of International Law and articles editor of the Journal of Technology Law and Policy. She has authored and co-authored/co-edited 14 books, including Monsters in and Among Us: Towards a Gothic Criminology (2007), Frames of Evil: The Holocaust as Horror in American Film (2009), Draculas, Vampires, and Other Undead Forms (2009), and Dracula in Visual Media (2010) - winner of the 2011 Lord Ruthven Award.

JOHN EDGAR BROWNING, PhD student and Arthur A. Schomburg Fellow in American Studies at SUNY-Buffalo, USA. He has co-written eight books, including Draculas, Vampires, and Other Undead Forms (2009), Dracula in Visual Media (2010, winner of the 2011 Lord Ruthven Award), and The Vampire, His Kith and Kin: A Critical Edition (2011).

"This book is a must-read for students and scholars of teratology, monsters, the fantastic, and the detested other. Spanning a fascinating gulf of disciplines and genres, the authors illustrate just how interconnected we are with the monsters in our midst and the extent to which our understandable desire to define ourselves in opposition to the monstrous both creates and destroys the barriers between the human and the other. This book will change the way you think about crime, victimhood, knowledge, the normal, and our own place in the universe. From Dracula to the Holocaust, from gender to disability, this book challenges our own belief in the possibility of self-knowledge and questions the foundations of our self-defined humanity.'
- Danaya C. Wright, Clarence J. TeSelle Professor of Law, Levin College of Law, University of Florida

"All too often topics are betrayed in their treatment - creativity is discussed unimaginatively, art is approached unartfully or even artlessly, philosophy itself taken up thoughtlessly (at least without sufficiently sustained, probing thoughtfulness). Not so in this instance. Indeed, the category of monstrosity is itself monstrous. It is at once dependent upon traditional distinctions between the normal and a forever shifting array of opposites and in conflict with those historically entrenched dichotomies. The essays in this volume exhibit in detail the monstrous - in the sense of both the frighteningly huge and fiercely unsettling - force of this philosophical category. They do so in reference to a broad spectrum of cultural phenomena. The editors' finely crafted introduction however provides a useful map to this vast terrain.'
- Vincent Colapietro, Liberal Arts Research Professor of Philosophy, The Pennsylvania State University

"This collection of essays offers more than a unique contribution to social theory - it is a comprehensive framework for understanding how humans construct otherness. The work is critical for law since judges, police, and other legal actors repeatedly construct the criminal as monster, which lays the foundation for punishment that knows no bounds, including death. In an age of mass incarceration and fears of terrorism, this work is as timely as it is fascinating."  
- SpearIt, Assistant Professor of Law, Saint Louis University, School of Law

If you click HERE, you can download a PDF sample, with the full table of CONTENTS, the entire INTRODUCTION + the INDEX, to give you a better idea of the book.
SPEAKING OF MONSTERS will be available from 20 July 2012.