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Monster Articles: Home

Why We Like Monster Stories

Beal, Timothy K. "Our Monsters, Ourselves." The Chronicle of Higher Education (2001)   

Written only months after 9/11.  Quote from the final paragraph of the article: "In the aftermath of September 11, Americans are all too familiar with the ways religious discourse can serve political rhetoric in making monsters out of others... The questions raised by horror culture can introduce ambiguity into this cultural mix, undermining attempts to boil things down to a battle between us versus them, good versus evil.  They invite us to discover our monsters in ourselves and ourselves in our monsters"  

Clapp, Rodney. "Vampires Among Us." Christian Century 127.3 (2010)

The appeal of vampires, especially to teenagers-- In addition to being forbidden objects of romantic love, they are a danger that hides among us; mirrors our fear of terrorists in modern world, etc.

Kowalski, Kathiann M. "Here Come The Zombies." Faces (07491387) 30.5 (2014)

Zombies in popular culture-- why they are popular now and how they address our fears.  Discusses Zombie walks, where people dress up like zombies and parade around a city or town, zombie runs, and various portrayals in recent films.  


Blythe, Christopher James. "Monsters in America: Our Historical Obsession with the Hideous and the Haunting." Journal of Religion and Popular Culture  

This is a review of this book.  It breaks down the focus of the chapters.  I am sending excerpts of a few chapters, but if you read this review and would like additional chapters, let me know.  

Political Rhetoric

Ivie, Robert L., and Oscar Giner. "Hunting the Devil: Democracy's Rhetorical Impulse to War." Presidential Studies Quarterly 37.4 (2007)

Abstract:  The rhetoric of evil, so prominently evident in contemporary presidential public address, articulates a primal motive for the war on terrorism by projecting democracy's shadow onto the external enemy. In this regard, the president's discourse is a manifestation rather than aberration of U.S. political culture, a reflection of the nation's troubled democratic identity. Upon close inspection, it reveals the presence of the mythos of a democratic demon contained within the republic, various ways in which the unconscious projection of this devil figure is rhetorically triggered, and the cultural significance of its lethal entailments. The diabolism of presidential war rhetoric, we suggest, functions as an inducement to evacuate the political content of democracy, leaving a largely empty but virulent signifier in its place, which weakens the nation by reproducing a culture of war.  NOTE:  VERY SCHOLARLY for SAE students


McWilliam, David. "Perfect Enemies." Gothic Studies 15.1 (2013)

Abstract:  A consideration of the ways in which the discourse of monstrosity, once deployed against a political enemy, closes off open debate and undermine the values of those who argue that the ends needed to defeat them justify any means used.  This article explores the parallels between the neoconservative rhetoric of the War on Terror with that of the vampire hunters in Joe Ahearne’s television show Ultraviolet (1998), as both deny their enemies the status of political subjects.THIS ARTICLE WILL PROBABLY FOCUS TOO MUCH ON one particular vampire example-- and possibly too technical / scholarly


Bush, George W. "The President's Radio Address." Weekly Compilation Of Presidential Documents 37.39 (2001)

Bush, George W. "The President's Radio Address." Weekly Compilation Of Presidential Documents 38.14 (2002)

Bush, George W. "Address To The Nation On The Anniversary Of The Terrorist Attacks Of September 11 From Ellis Island, New York September 11, 2002." Weekly Compilation Of Presidential Documents 38.37 (2002)

Kitfield, James. "Behind The 'Islamo-Fascist' Rhetoric." National Journal 38.38 (2006)  (Very Scholarly)