Of God and Monsters

April 5th -7th 2019

Texas State University

San Marcos, TX

Judith Halberstam famously claimed that monsters are “meaning machines” that can be used to represent a variety of ideas, including morality, gender, race, and nationalism (to name only a few). Monsters are always part of the project of making sense of the world and our place in it. As a tool through which human beings create worlds in which to meaningfully dwell, monsters are tightly bound with other systems of meaning-making like religion, culture, literature, and politics. Of Gods and Monsters will provide a focused space to explore the definition of “monster,” the categorization of monsters as a basis of comparison across cultures, and the relationship of monsters to various systems of meaning-making with the goal of understanding how humans have used and continued to use these “meaning machines.”

The Religious Studies program at Texas State University, therefore, welcomes submissions for our upcoming conference on Monsters and Monster Theory. Through this conference, we hope to explore the complex intersections of monsters and meaning making from a variety of theoretical, academic, and intellectual angles. Because “monsters” are a category that appears across time and cultural milieus, this conference will foster conversations between scholars working in very different areas and is not limited in terms of cultural region, historical time, or religious tradition. Conference organizers anticipate inviting papers presented at this conference to submit their revised papers for an edited volume.

If interested in presenting a paper, please submit an abstract with a maximum of 300-words to TexasStateMonsters@gmail.com by November 1st, 2018. Final decisions on conference participation will be sent out by the first week of December. If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact conference organizers Natasha Mikles (n.mikles@txstate.edu) or Joseph Laycock (joseph.laycock@txstate.edu).

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