Appel à communication : Re-defining the Monster

International Congress on Medieval Studies (ICMS 2019)

May 9 to, 2019

Western Michigan University

The proposed session will discuss and debate on the various definitions of the concept of the “monster.” Defining the monster is a challenge. Monsters and monstrosity-related aspects have been topics of academic research either connected to identity or cross-cultural encounters, explored as ‘others’ in the context of voyages (real-imagined), as heritage from Antiquity, as races reflected in travellers’ reports inserted into Western art, philosophy, and theology.

What is a monster? What is monstrosity? How is the monster conceptualized by a given community? Can one define it or does the monster define itself? Does it offer any self-description? Did the medieval man write about monsters and how does this define the monster from a cultural perspective? Where and what is the “border” between human, “other,” and monster? This session seeks original research which investigates medieval scholarly debates in philosophical, theological, political, literary, visual contexts and/or sources in order to (re)define the concept of the monster/monstrosity. Reinterpretations of previous definitions are welcome in a debate on re-visualizing medieval monsters.

This session also aims to bring the intellectual outcome of these sessions into the attention of the general public by publishing the proceedings of the debates in the series “Picturing Women in the Middle Ages and Early Modernity” at Trivent Publishing, Budapest, Hungary.

Please submit a 250-word proposal for a 15-20 minute paper  presentation by September 15th, 2018.

Contact information:

Andrea-Bianka Znorovszky, Ca’ Foscari University, Venice, Italy (

Teodora C. Artimon, Trivent Publishing, Budapest, Hungary (

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