Session Title

Passing as the Monster

Sponsoring Organization(s)

Monsters: The Experimental Association for the Research of Cryptozoology through Scholarly Theory and Practical Application (MEARCSTAPA)

Organizer Name

Asa Simon Mittman, Thea Tomaini

Organizer Affiliation

California State Univ.-Chico; Univ. of Southern California

Presider Name

Thea Tomaini

Paper Title 1

Pwyll: Kingship the Otherworld

Presenter 1 Name

Lisa LeBlanc

Presenter 1 Affiliation

Anna Maria College

Paper Title 2

Counterfeiting Monstrosity: Knowledge and Ignorance in the Lai of Graelent and the Fabliau La Sorisete des estopes

Presenter 2 Name

Stefanie Goyette

Presenter 2 Affiliation

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Paper Title 3

Theriomorphism, Crypto-Bestiality, and Medieval Furries

Presenter 3 Name

Jacqueline Stuhmiller

Presenter 3 Affiliation

Univ. of California-Berkeley

Paper Title 4

Response: Shifting Skin: Passing as Human, Passing as Fay in the Romance Tradition

Presenter 4 Name

Larissa Tracy

Presenter 4 Affiliation

Longwood Univ.

Start Date

14-5-2015 10:00 AM

Session Location

Fetzer 1045

Description

There are many aspects of the phenomenon of “passing,” but one aspect that is often overlooked is that of a human being “passing” as a supernatural creature or monster. MEARCSTAPA seeks papers that explore situations in which a person (or group of people) dons a disguise, tells a lie, makes a pretense, puts on a performance, or engages in trickery in order to convince others that he or she is a representative of the occult world. In what situations, or for what reasons does a person pretend to be a ghost or revenant? Why might a person pose as a faerie or member of the invisible world? Why does a person pretend to be possessed; or more so, pretend to be a demon or devil? Why might a person perpetrate a monster hoax? And why would anyone pretend to be a witch or sorcerer? These situations can be found throughout the literature, drama, art, history, polemic, and folklore of the medieval and early modern periods. What meaning is communicated by such frauds? What does the discovery of such a disguise, lie, or performance tell us about the subjectivities and presuppositions of monster belief? What does it tell us about the relationship between monster belief and the community that harbors it? How do such disguisings affect other aspects of monstrosity in these genres? How do these situations fit into the larger field of monster studies? Papers should be focused on humans engaged in disguise or deceit as occult figures, supernatural creatures, or otherwise preternatural beings.

Asa S. Mittman

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May 14th, 10:00 AM

Passing as the Monster

Fetzer 1045

There are many aspects of the phenomenon of “passing,” but one aspect that is often overlooked is that of a human being “passing” as a supernatural creature or monster. MEARCSTAPA seeks papers that explore situations in which a person (or group of people) dons a disguise, tells a lie, makes a pretense, puts on a performance, or engages in trickery in order to convince others that he or she is a representative of the occult world. In what situations, or for what reasons does a person pretend to be a ghost or revenant? Why might a person pose as a faerie or member of the invisible world? Why does a person pretend to be possessed; or more so, pretend to be a demon or devil? Why might a person perpetrate a monster hoax? And why would anyone pretend to be a witch or sorcerer? These situations can be found throughout the literature, drama, art, history, polemic, and folklore of the medieval and early modern periods. What meaning is communicated by such frauds? What does the discovery of such a disguise, lie, or performance tell us about the subjectivities and presuppositions of monster belief? What does it tell us about the relationship between monster belief and the community that harbors it? How do such disguisings affect other aspects of monstrosity in these genres? How do these situations fit into the larger field of monster studies? Papers should be focused on humans engaged in disguise or deceit as occult figures, supernatural creatures, or otherwise preternatural beings.

Asa S. Mittman