Presentation on theme: "Seven Theses Thesis 1: The Monster’s Body is a Cultural Body"— Presentation transcript:
1 Seven Theses Thesis 1: The Monster’s Body is a Cultural Body Thesis 2: The Monster Always EscapesThesis 3: The Monster is the Harbinger of Category CrisisThesis 4: The Monster Dwells at the Gates of DifferenceThesis 5: The Monster Polices the Borders of the PossibleThesis 6: Fear of the Monster is Really a Kind of DesireThesis 7: The Monster Stands at the Threshold...of Becoming
2 Thesis 1: The Monster’s Body is a Cultural Body “metaphoric crossroads, as an embodiment of a certain cultural moment – of a time, a feeling, and a place”“The monster’s body quite literally incorporates fear, desire, anxiety and fantasy”“a construct and a projection”“the monster signifies something other than itself”
3 Thesis 2: The Monster Always Escapes “We see the damage that the monster wreaks, the material remains...but the monster itself turns immaterial and vanishes, to reappear someplace else” (4)“its threat is its propensity to shift” (5)“Monsters must be examined within the intricate matrix of relations (social, cultural, and literary-historical) that generate them.” (5)“the undead returns in slightly different clothing, each time to be read against contemporary social movements or a specific, determining event” (5)
4 Thesis 3: The Monster is the Harbinger of Category Crisis “The monster always escapes because it refuses easy categorization” (6)“the monster notoriously appears at times of crisis as a kind of third term that problematizes the clash of extremes” (6)“they demand a radical rethinking of boundary and normality” (6)“the monster resists any classification built on hierarchy [...] demanding instead a ‘system’ allowing polyphony” (7)
5 Thesis 4: The Monster Dwells at the Gates of Difference “The monster is difference made flesh [...] all those loci that are rhetorically placed as distant and distinct but originate Within” (7)“for the most part monstrous difference tends to be cultural, political, racial, economic, sexual” (7)“History itself becomes a monster: defeaturing, self-deconstructive, always in danger of exposing the sutures that bind its disparate elements into a single, unnatural body” (9)“one kind of alterity is often written as another, so that national difference is transformed into sexual difference” (10)
6 Thesis 5: The Monster Polices the Borders of the Possible “The monster prevents mobility (intellectual, geographic, or sexual), delimiting the social spaces through which private bodies may move” (12)Q: What does Cohen mean that every monster is a “double narrative” (13)?“The monster embodies those sexual practices that must not be committed, or that may be committed only through the body of the monster” (14)Q: Why are “women and nonwhites” (15) repeatedly transformed into monsters?
7 Thesis 6: Fear of the Monster is Really a Kind of Desire “The monster is continually linked to forbidden practices” (16)“We distrust and loathe the monster at the same time we envy its freedom” (17)Q: What “freedom” does the monster have?Q: What kinds of fantasies does the monster often embody?Q: What causes us to stop loving the monster and become horrified by it?
8 “fantasies of aggression, domination, and inversion are allowed safe expression in a clearly delimited and permanently luminal space” (17)“delight gives way to horror only when the monster threatens to overstep these boundaries” (17)“When contained [...] the monster can function as an alter ego, as an alluring projection of (an Other) self” (17)
9 “Times of carnival temporally marginalize the monstrous, but at the same time allow it a safe realm of expression and play” (17)“The co-optation of the monster into a symbol of the desirable is often accomplished through the neutralization of potentially threatening aspects with a liberal dose of comedy” (18)“the simultaneity of anxiety and desire ensures that the monster will always dangerously entice” (19)
10 Thesis 7: The Monster Stands at the Threshold...of Becoming “Monsters are our children...” (20)“...they always return” (20)“they bear self-knowledge” (20)“These monsters ask us how we perceive the world, and how we have misrepresented what we have attempted to place” (20)“They ask us to reevaluate...”“They ask us why we have created them” (20)