For those interested in the history and theory of art

CFP – SECAC 2021 Art History Session, The Nature of the Beast: Monsters and Mons

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      Michael Anthony Fowler


      77th Annual Meeting of SECAC 

      University of Kentucky (Lexington, KY)

      10–13 November 2021


      Michael Anthony Fowler, Ph.D. (East Tennessee State University)

      Matthew Peebles, Ph.D. (Columbia University)

      The global history of art is replete with all manner of monstrous creatures. While many monsters dwell in the far-off and fantastical domains of our imagination, they nevertheless migrate – physically and visually – from these extreme margins to the center of our world. Their presence is pervasive: They gaze down from atop monuments and invade the margins of books. But still other, real ‘monsters’ (such as physically deformed subjects) have been identified among living societies. This panel seeks to examine the form, appearance, and conceptual uses of a wide range of fictional and (quasi-)real monsters, ranging from hybrid beasts (chimeras) that terrify and terrorize to ‘freak-show’ oddities that simultaneously attract and repulse. What is a monster? What relationship does monstrosity have to animality and/or humanity? In what contexts have monsters appeared in the history of art? To what uses have monsters been put? Papers from any culture or time period and addressing any aspect of monstrosity in art are welcome.

      Interested scholars should submit for consideration an abstract of 200 words or less via the following online portal: Abstracts may be submitted from Tuesday, 9 March through Tuesday, 4 May 2021.

      Official notifications of decision will be sent via e-mail in early June 2021. Questions regarding the above session may be addressed to Michael Anthony Fowler ( For general inquiries, please contact the conference director Rob Jensen (

      N.B. Any scholar whose paper is accepted to the session must be (or become) an active member of SECAC through the date of the conference and pay the conference registration fee.

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