Derek Newman-Stille has written up a draft of a mission statement that I think is great. Here it is. Please comment on it!
MEARCSTAPA (Monsters: the Experimental Association for the Research of Cryptozoology through Scholarly Theory And Practical Application) Mission Statement
MEARCSTAPA is an organization committed to the scholarly examination of monstrosity as an area of social and cultural interest to past and present societies. Our inter/trans/post/pre-disciplinary approach allows us to explore the significance of monstrosity across cultural, temporal, and geographic boundaries. We are interested in a multivalent approach using materials on monsters and monstrosity from literary, artistic, philosophical, and historical sources.
The term “Mearcstapa” not only evokes the Grendelkin, perhaps the standard bearers for medieval monstrosity, but also describes the role of Monster Studies within (or outside of) “traditional” academics. Those who study monstrosity take on the role of Border-Walkers, broaching numerous traditional academic divides.
We recognize that human societies reveal a great deal about themselves in the monsters they create, and that the monstrous can be a mechanism for expressing social issues, interests, anxieties, and ideologies.
Our membership is international and is composed of scholars from a wide variety of academic disciplines including, but not limited to, Medieval Studies, English Literature, French Literature, Cultural Studies, History, Ancient History and Classics, Celtic Studies, Anthropology, Archaeology, Disability Studies, Gender Studies, Folklore Studies, and Art History.
MEARCSTAPA was established in May, 2008 for the purpose of providing a forum for discussion about monstrosity in various media.