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Monsters and the Moral Imagination
The Chronicle of Higher Education (2009)
  • Stephen T Asma, Columbia College Chicago

The article discusses the cultural interest in monsters in the 21st century. The author speculates on the reasons for the interest, citing anxiety after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, the war in Iraq, or the global financial crisis of 2008-2009. He notes a conference in September 2009 at the University of Oxford entitled "Monsters and the Monstrous." Cultural uses of monsters, he notes, include scolding ourselves for failure to be inclusive, the medievals' punishment for the sin of pride, or the ancient Greeks' warnings of impending calamity. He notes that monster stories can promote the individual's thought about what we would do in such situations. Imagining challenges, he notes, help us discover our values.

  • monsters,
  • monsters in literature,
  • monsters in mass media
Publication Date
October 30, 2009
Citation Information
Stephen T Asma. "Monsters and the Moral Imagination" The Chronicle of Higher Education Vol. 56 Iss. 10 (2009)
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