‘Our Monsters, Ourselves’ is the Honor’s Humanities Lecture Series chosen for the 2016-2017 school year. The first semester was classroom-orientated and meant only for honor students, and for the second semester speakers from both on and off campus led a lecture on a specific topic revolving monsters.
The lecture is in part based of a new academic field called Monster Studies; and Dr. Amanda Walling, a professor from the department of English and Modern Languages, who organized this year’s series explained the theme by saying, “Monsters are something that have been throughout history, there have been legends of monsters, stories about monsters and at the same time we use what I call the rhetoric of monstrosity to talk about things that make us uncomfortable, groups of people, behaviors and I think it’s really eye opening on what we use monsters for.”
The Spring Lectures are free and open to the public and are usually followed by discussions about the topic of the day. “The people I’ve heard from who have been going to the lectures have been really excited about them,” said Dr.Walling.
So far there have been four lectures on February 7th titled, The Monstrosit(ies) of Gender and was taught by Kristin Comeforo, from the University of Hartford; on February 14th there was The Sadism of Ordinary Men: Nazi Monsters or Nazi Humans? taught by Avinoam Patt. Following those two on February 21st Erin Cassese, an Associate Professor of Political Science from West Virginia University talked about Monstrosity and Metaphor in the 2016 Presidential Contest and most recently on February 28th Fran Altvater talked about Monstrous Non-Monsters in Modern and Contemporary Art.
The remaining lectures are at 7:30 p.m. in Dana Hall 201 and are called:
1. “Desire and Horror: Monstrous Women in Feminist Performances of Frankenstein and Dracula” by Erin Striff on March 7th
2. “Exploring the Monsterscape of New England” by author J. W. Ocker on March 14th
3. “Mourners from Outer Space!” by Sarah Senk, an Assistant Professor of Culture & Communication at the Cal State Maritime University on March 28th
4. “Simianization and Monsterization in Planet of the Apes” by Susana Loza, the Associate Professor of Media Culture at Hampshire College on April 4th
5. “Jewishness and Monstrousness in the Late Middle Ages” by Maria Esposito Frank, from the University of Hartford on April 11th
6. “Serial Killers in Ancient Greece and Rome” by Debbie Felton, a Professor of Classics at UMass Amherst on April 11th