October Slugs & Steins

Monsters in our Closets: Dealing With Sudden Change
Michael M. Chemers, Director of Monster Studies
Monday, October 11, 2021
6:30-8:00 p.m.
This is a virtual event

The act of monsterization is not, at its core, very mysterious. Whenever there is an epistemic break, different elements of society attempt to cope by locating the site of disturbance, identifying it as Other, and then mapping that category upon the bodies of the marginalized. We do this all the time, and the rate at which it occurs is accelerating due to the precarity in which we find ourselves: terrorism, global pandemic, economic uncertainty and political chaos in an environment where everything is connected and speeded up. It is no wonder that monsters lurk at the edge of all our traumas. And so, we find we no longer need to justify our scholarly interest in monsters; certainly not to our students, who constantly struggle to envision a good future that includes them. The potential for the monster to play an important role in the envisioning of new and better worlds is one our students are hungry to learn.

Michael M. Chemers is Chair and Professor of Dramatic Literature in the Department of Performance, Play & Design. He is also the author of The Monster In Theatre History: This Thing of Darkness (2017), the first full-length monograph to deal with the history of monsters in performance. He is also the founding Director of the UCSC Center for Monster Studies, an interdisciplinary research center that collects and disseminates monster scholarship from across the arts, humanities, and social sciences; and the co-convener of the Monster Studies Working Group of the American Society for Theatre Research. He also hosts a podcast entitled "The Show Where They Talk About Monsters." Please see www.monsterstudies.ucsc.edu.