What do ancient burial sites, haunted houses, post-apocalyptic landscapes, and even recent topographical manifestations of the Gaza conflict or the crash site of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 all have in common? Even if they no longer bear the physical markers of violence, the geographic locations of devastation and human suffering are often imbued with memories of horror that are passed on from generation to generation through various textual, audial and visual media.

What is the relationship between evil and the monstrous? Is the monstrous always rooted in the element of evil? Can disasters caused by nature be regarded as evil? Can we talk about geographies of poverty, hunger and homelessness in relation to monstrosity? Can evil and/or monstrosity be immanent to place or are they performed by cultural discourse, rituals and practices of memory? How do the monstrous and the geographic intersect in architecture, the arts, popular culture, politics, and the sciences?

We welcome presentations, papers, reports, performances, work-in-progress, workshops and pre-formed panels from all academic disciplines. Presentations may include but are not limited to the following topics:

  • Unknown worlds
  • Dystopic landscapes
  • Sites of heterotopia
  • Malevolent regions
  • Bodies as maps and maps as bodies
  • Places of isolation, incarceration and madness
  • Places of rituals and incest
  • Sites of experimentation
  • Evil planets and dimensions
  • Worlds as dark reflections/twins of Earth
  • Alien landscapes
  • Sites of environmental disasters (both natural and manmade)
  • Sites of starvation, disaster and pestilence
  • De-militarized zones and no-man’s lands
  • Monstrostiy and liminality
  • Religion, ritual and monstrosity
  • Haunted sites and spectral spaces
  • Graveyards
  • Sites of conflict and violence
  • Terrain vague, abandoned buildings
  • The architecture of death and destruction (sites of torture and extermination)
  • Geographical manifestations of the uncanny
  • Tourism and monstrous geographies
  • Monstrous Dreamscapes
  • Mazes
  • Monstrous materialities
  • Ethics and morality in relation to monstrosity and evil
  • Monstrous geographies of the body and the mind

The Steering Group particularly welcomes the submission of pre-formed panel proposals. We welcome proposals by academics, teachers, independent researchers, students, artists, NGOs and anyone interested in manifestations of monstrosity in space.

Call for Cross-Over Presentations

The Monstrous Geographies project will be meeting at the same time as two other projects: Exploring the Erotic and Interdisciplinary Thinking and Planning. In addition we welcome submissions which cross the divide between two or even all three project areas. If you would like to be considered for a cross project session, please mark your submission “Crossover Submission”.

What to Send: 300 word abstracts, proposals and other forms of contribution should be submitted by Friday 4th December 2015.
All submissions be minimally double reviewed, under anonymous (blind) conditions, by a global panel drawn from members of the Project Team and the Advisory Board. In practice our procedures usually entail that by the time a proposal is accepted, it will have been triple and quadruple reviewed.

Abstracts may be in Word, RTF or Notepad formats with the following information and in this order: a) author(s), b) affiliation as you would like it to appear in programme, c) email address, d) title of proposal, e) body of proposal, f) up to 10 keywords. E-mails should be entitled: Monstrous Geographies Abstract

Submission: Abstracts should be submitted simultaneously to both Organising Chairs:

  • Stephen Morris: smmorris58[at]yahoo.com
  • Rob Fisher: mg5[at]inter-disciplinary.net