Judas. Lilith. Haman. Satan…
Monsters and villains have populated human imagination since time immemorial. Some have been the stuff of myths and legends, involving fantastic tales of heroism and valor; others, the tools societies have used to conceptualize and categorize otherness. While such categorizations are invariably fluid and subject to interpretation, they have nevertheless come to embody concerns, insecurities about the self, and fears of the unknown that cross historical and cultural contexts.
The Journal of Religion and Culture (JRC) is seeking papers that delve into “Monsters and the Monstrous.” Monsters, here, can be defined literally or more broadly as the other, subalterns, marginal, or deviants. We are seeking articles that reveal, analyze and challenge how “monsters,” “villains,” the “grotesque” and “monstrous” are delineated, demarcated and fabricated, how such concepts relate to notions of transgression, and what they suggest about human corporeality and non-binary identities.
For our upcoming 29th edition, we invite submissions that especially consider the following:
- Papers that examine how “monsters” are constructed and what are the social, political, and historical ramifications of these definitions.
- Papers that examine how monsters and villains are depicted in cultural imagination (such as through literature and popular culture), and how these depictions vary across cultures and historical contexts.
- Papers that unearth lost or forgotten monsters, beast and villains lurking at the periphery of ancient texts, folklore and storytelling and what they tell us about the societies writing them.
- Papers that examine the short thrift of villainy and provide alternate readings of evil, treachery, and the ne’er-do-wells who typify the antithesis of moral orders. Who are the villains we love to hate and hate to love and why?
The use of varying theoretical tools are welcome, including but not limited to discourse analysis, literary approaches, as well as theories from the fields of gender studies, race and cultural studies, disability theory, postcolonial studies, performance, and ritual studies. Explorations of diverse methodological approaches, historical periods, traditions and geographic locations are strongly encouraged. We are interested in research that breaks the boundaries and exhibits a novel approach, methodology and/or interpretation.
We accept currently unpublished articles (which contain original scholarship) and book reviews of recent publications pertaining to our topic. Papers can focus on any tradition, time period or particular issue pertaining to monsters and the monstrous.
The due date for submissions is December 15th, 2018. Papers are to be submitted using the online submission form. Be sure to read the guidelines; papers that fail to adhere to the submission guidelines may be rejected.