Monsters in Our Midst

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Faculty Lecture:
Monsters in Our Midst: Being Human, True Blood and the New Outsider
Professor Lisa Lampert-Weissig
Wednesday, October 23, 2-3pm
Seuss Room, Geisel Library
Refreshments will be served.

What if our familiar world were actually inhabited by supernatural beings, who lived and loved amongst us without our even being aware of their difference?

In a lively talk, Professor Lisa Lampert-Weissig shares some of her current work on depictions of vampires, werewolves, and other supernatural beings in popular culture. Focusing on the notion of the everyday uncanny, she discusses the way characters in Being Human and True Blood are depicted as hidden minorities, whose complex lives raise important questions about what it means to be human and who is entitled to claim a place as home.


monster banner for blog

Monsters in Our Midst:  Witches, Werewolves, Vampires, & Zombies @ Geisel
Geisel Library, main floor, west wing
Fall 2013

There have always been monsters among us. Terrifying, tantalizing, and ever adaptable, these creatures mirror our deepest fears and most secret desires. Our monsters reveal us to ourselves, showing what it means to be human at a particular time, in a particular place.

Monster derives from the Latin word monstrum, which in turn derives from the root monere (to warn).  To be a monster is to be an omen.  Sometimes the monster is a display of God’s wrath, a portent of the future, a symbol of moral virtue or vice, or an accident of nature.  The monster is more than an odious creature of the imagination; it is a kind of cultural category, employed in domains as diverse as religion, biology, literature and politics.  Hand in hand with this idea that metaphors shape our thinking, communicating, and even feeling is the idea that imagination is more active in our picture of reality that we previously acknowledged. The monster, of course, is a product of and regular inhabitant of the imagination, but the imagination is a driving force behind our entire perception of the world.  If we find monsters in our world, it is sometimes because they are really there and sometimes because we have brought them with us.” (Stephen T. Asma, On Monsters: An Unnatural History of our Worst Fears)

The time is now; the place is Geisel Library:  come explore the changing aspects of the monsters in our midst.

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