Welcome, new members, welcome back long standing members and friends! My thanks to all of our presenters, presiders, organizers and audience members for MEARCSTAPA’s two sessions at the 2-12 ICMS at Kalamazoo! We had two excellent sessions.
The three speakers from “You’re So Juvenile: Monstrous Children in Medieval Culture” (ably presided over by Ana Grinberg) presented fascinating material on the processes of birth and generation of monstrous offspring. I admit that many times, throughout, I was reminded of Eraserhead. There has been some talk of a collection on the subject of monstrous babies and children, and I look forward to more on the subject!
Our speakers for “Eyes of the Beholders: A Roundtable Discussion on the Monstrous,” provided excellent inspiration for a good discussion, and our new interim-VP Kat Tracy kept everyone in line nicely. Special thanks to Kristen Figg for standing in admirably for John Block Friedman, whose paper set us up for a strong conversation. Marcus Hensel’s work to nail down the monstrous pressed us to move beyond generalizations and Jeannie Miller’s work on the medieval Islamic tradition broadened the scope in productive ways.
Finally, the new Research Companion to Monsters and the Monstrous sold well at the book fair and generated much positive attention, so this bodes well for the future of Monster Studies!
We are now at work on session proposals for next year, so keep an eye out for them, and I look forward to seeing you all again in Leeds or in Kalamazoo, next year!