Monster Culture in the 21st Century A Reader

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  • Edition: 1st
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2013-05-23
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Academic

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In the past decade, our rapidly changing world faced terrorism, global epidemics, economic and social strife, new communication technologies, immigration, and climate change to name a few. These fears and tensions reflect an evermore-interconnected global environment where increased mobility of people, technologies, and disease have produced great social, political, and economical uncertainty. The essays in this collection examine how monstrosity has been used to manage these rising fears and tensions. Analyzing popular films and televisions shows, such as True Blood, Twilight, Paranormal Activity, District 9, Battlestar Galactica, and Avatar, it argues that monstrous narratives of the past decade have become omnipresent specifically because they represent collective social anxieties over resisting and embracing change in the 21st century. The first comprehensive text that uses monstrosity not just as a metaphor for change, but rather a necessary condition through which change is lived and experienced in the 21st century, this approach introduces a different perspective toward the study of monstrosity in culture.

Author Biography

Diem-My T. Bui currently is a Visiting Assistant Professor in the Department of Communication at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Her, research interests include transnational feminist media studies, critical cultural studies, ethnic studies, popular culture, and film. Her work examines cultural production, cultural memory, and embodiments of difference in representations of Vietnamese women in the U.S. cultural imaginary. Her publications are included in the journal Cultural Studies--Critical Methodologies and in an edited book, Globalizing Cultural Studies (2007). She has taught courses on communication, Asian American studies, film studies, and popular culture.

Table of Contents

Introduction: Embracing and Resisting Monstrosity in the 21st Century, Marina Levina and Diem-My Bui Part I - Theorizing Monstrosity in the New Millennium Chapter 1: Zombination: A New Spectacle for the 21st Century, Michael S. DrakeChapter 2: Wireless Monsters: Wikileaks, Anonymous, and Fantomas as Monstrous Collectives, Ruth WalkerChapter 3: Monstrous Networks: The Telepathology of Everyday Life, Jeremy BilesChapter 4: On the Frontlines of the Zombie War in the Congo: Digital Technology, the Trade in Conflicted Minerals, and Zombification, Jeffrey W. MantzChapter 5: Monstrous Capital: Frankenstein Derivatives, Shadow Banking and the Global Financial Crisis 2008-2010, Ryan Gillespie Part II - Monstrous Identities Section Introduction: Diem-My Bui and Marina Levina Chapter 6: Playing the Alien in Post-Racial Times, Susana LozaChapter 7: We are the Walking Dead!: Human Monstrosity and the Victimization of the 20th Century Zombie, Kyle BishopChapter 8: The Monster in the Mirror: Reflecting and Deflecting the Mobility of Gendered Violence Onscreen, Megan FoleyChapter 9: Intersectionality Bites: Metaphors of Race and Sexuality in HBO's True Blood, Peter CampbellChapter 10: Gendering the Monster Within: Biological Essentialism, Sexual Difference, and Changing Symbolic Functions of the Monster in Popular Werewolf Texts, Rosalind Sibielski Part III - Monstrous Technologies Section Introduction: Marina Levina and Diem-My Bui Chapter 11: And Man Made Life: Synthetic Organisms and Biocapitalism of Monstrosities, Marina Levina Chapter 12: Citizen Clones: Monstrous Citizenships and the Cosmopolitan Dystopia in Never Let Me Go and Cloud Atlas, Roy KamadaChapter 13: Robots, Cybors and Avatars: Monsters in the Machine, Grant KienChapter 14: Weak Spots and Special Attacks: Systems of Monstrosity and Otherness in Video Games, Jaroslan SvelchChapter 15: Spectral Hauntings and the Threat of Media Technology in Paranormal Activity, Diem-My T. Bui Part IV - Monstrous Territories Section Introduction: Marina Levina and Diem-My Bui Chapter 16: 'The Monster Within': Post-9/11 Narrative of Threat and the U.S. Shifting Terrain of Terror, Mary K. Bloodsworth-Lugo and Carmen R. Lugo-LugoChapter 17: The Heartland Under Siege: Undead in the West, Cynthia J. Miller and A. Bowdoin Van RiperChapter 18: Lost's Ecology of Terror: The Incorporeal Monstrosity of Threat, Enrica PicarelliChapter 19: A Monstrous Modernity: The Vampire Figure in the Twilight Cycle, Florian GrandenaChapter 20: Domesticating the Monstrous in the Globalizing World, Carolyn Harford

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