This conference focuses on the relationship between the monstrous and the geographic. From historical landscapes of purgation and judgement to contemporary topographical manifestations of the War on Terror and “enhanced interrogation,” and from haunted houses and ancient burial grounds to GM crops and biological futurescapes of cloning and purposeful mutation, geographical locations may act as the repository or emanation of human evil, made monstrous by the rituals and behaviours enacted within them, or by their peculiarities of atmosphere or configuration. Whether actual or imagined, these places of wonder, fear and horror speak of the symbiotic relation between humanity and location that sees morality, ideology and emotions given physical form in the house, the forest, the island, the nation and even far away worlds in both space and time. They may engage notions of self and otherness, inclusion and exclusion, normal and aberrant, defence and contagion; they can act as magnets for destructive and evil forces or become the source of malevolent energies and forces themselves. Alongside this, there exist the monstrous geographies created by scientific experimentation, human waste and environmental accidents, creating sites of potential and actual disaster such as Chernobyl or the Fukushima nuclear plants and , the Gulf of Mexico in the wake of the BP oil disaster, and the devastated coastline of Tohuku, Japan. These places raise diverse post-human quandaries regarding necessities in the present leading to real or imagined futures of humanity and habitation.
Encompassing the factual and the fictional, the literal and the literary, this project investigates the very particular relationships and interactions between humanity and place, the natural and the unnatural, the familiar and the unfamiliar, and sees a multitude of configurations of human monstrosity and evil projected, inflicted, or immanent to place. Such monstrous geographies can be seen to emerge from the disparity between past and present, memory and modernity, urban and rural and can be expressed through categories of class, gender and racial difference as well as generational, political and religious tensions.
Presentations, papers, reports, performances, work-in-progress, workshops and pre-formed panels are invited on issues related to any of the following themes:
~Real and Mythic lost lands: eg., Atlantis, D’yss, and Shangri-La
~Utopias/Dystopias, future cities in time and space
~Malevolent regions: eg., Lemuria, Bermuda Triangle, Transylvania
~Bodies as maps and maps as bodies, eg. Prison Break
~As sites of experimentation. Dr. Moreau, Jurassic Park etc As a beacon for evil: eg., Manhattan in Godzilla and Cloverfield
~As site of ritual evil and incest: eg., Wicker Man, Pitkin Islands, Isle of the Dead
~Imperialist intent and construction: eg., Prospero’s Island, Hong Kong, Hashima
~Evil planets and dimensions
~Comets, meteorites and beings from unknown worlds
~Worlds as dark reflections/twins of Earth
~Planets and alien landscapes that consume and mutate earthly travelers
Monstrous Environmental Geographies:
~Polluted lakes and landscapes
~Landfills, oil spills and mining sites
~Melting icecaps and landforms at risk from global warming
~Land impacted by GM crops and associated experimentation
~Sites of starvation, disaster and pestilence
~De-militarized zones and no-man’s lands
Monstrous Religious Sites & Ritualistic Monstrosity:
~Armageddon, Apocalypse and final battlegrounds
~Hell, the Underworld and Valhalla
~Eden, Purgatory, Paradise, El Dorado, Shangri La
~Sites of religious ritual, sacrifice and burial
~Houses and haunts of murderers and serial killers
Monstrous Landscapes of Conflict:
~The land of the enemy and the other
~Sites of attack and retaliation.
~Sites of revolution and protest
~Concentration camps, prisons and other sites of incarceration
~Sites of genocide, battlefields and military graveyards
~Ghettos, shanty towns and relocation sites
~Urban and rural, cities, towns and villages and regional and national prejudice
~Minefields and sites of damage, destruction and ruin
~Arsenals, bunkers and military experimentation
Uncanny Geographical Temporalities:
~Old buildings in new surroundings
~Buildings with too much, and those without, memory
~Ideological architecture, palaces, museums etc
~Places held in time, UNESCO sites and historical and listed buildings
~Old towns and New towns, rich and poor
~Appearing and disappearing towns/regions, eg., Brigadoon, Silent Hill.
Monsters on the Move:
~Contagion, scouring and infectious landscapes
~Monsters and mobile technologies: phone, video, cars, planes, computers etc
~Fluid identities, fluid places
~Touring Monstrosities, dreamscapes and infernal topologies
~Mazes and labyrinths (with or without the Minotaur)
~Unsettling/revolting geometries (E.A. Abbot’s Flatland, H.P. Lovecraft’s City of R’lyeh)
~Monstrous/abject building materials (bones, concrete, excrements, the corpse in the wall)
~The architecture of death (hospices, death row, funeral homes, slaughterhouses)
The Steering Group particularly welcomes the submission of pre-formed panel proposals.
In order to support and encourage interdisciplinarity engagement, it is our intention to create the possibility of starting dialogues between the parallel events running during this conference. Delegates are welcome to attend up to two sessions in each of the concurrent conferences. We also propose to produce cross-over sessions between two and possibly all three groups – and we welcome proposals which deal with the relationship between Cybercultures and/or transmedia narratives, immersive worlds and/or monstrous geographies.
What to send:
300 word abstracts should be submitted by Friday 6th December 2013 If an abstract is accepted for the conference, a full draft paper should be submitted by Friday 14th March 2014. 300 word abstracts should be submitted simultaneously to both Organising Chairs; abstracts may be in Word or RTF formats with the following information and in this order:
a) author(s), b) affiliation as you would like it to appear in programme, c) email address, d) title of abstract, e) body of abstract, f) up to 10 keywords.
E-mails should be entitled: MG3 Abstract Submission.
Please use plain text (Times Roman 12) and abstain from using any special formatting, characters or emphasis (such as bold, italics or underline). We acknowledge receipt and answer to all paper proposals submitted. If you do not receive a reply from us in a week you should assume we did not receive your proposal; it might be lost in cyberspace! We suggest, then, to look for an alternative electronic route or resend.
Rob Fisher: email@example.com
The aim of the conference is to bring together people from different areas and interests to share ideas and explore various discussions which are innovative and exciting. All papers accepted for and presented at this conference are eligible for publication in an ISBN eBook. Selected papers may be invited to go forward for development into a themed ISBN hard copy volume. All publications from the conference will require editors, to be chosen from interested delegates from the conference.
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