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The Monstrous Encounter

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Kirsopp, E (2007) The Monstrous Encounter. Coursework Master thesis, University of Tasmania.

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Abstract

This research project proposes that the monstrous encounter in art, film and story can
signify the change from the understood to the unknown self, using the historical context
and literary elements of Little Red Riding Hood as a framework. Within this framework
three visual artists, Kiki Smith, Jazmina Cininas and Matthew Barney are investigated
to demonstrate how the monstrous encounter signifies the change from the understood to the unknown self.
In order to use Little Red Riding Hood as a framework the historical context of the tale
has been broken down into three periods, identified as the original, the bourgeois and
the contemporary. In each period it is shown how the monstrous encounter signifies the
change from the understood to the unknown self.
The research project draws on the work of Jack Zipes, The Trials and Tribulations of
Little Red Riding Hood (1993) and Fairy Tales and the Art of Subversion (1983); Jon
Elster, The Multiple Self (1985); Barbara Creed, The Monstrous Feminine (1993) and
Phallic Panic (2005); and Julia Kristeva, Powers of Horror (1982). These key
references are used to define important ideas and strengthen terminology specific to the
project, such as self, monster and monstrous encounter, abjection and transformation.
As a result of using Little Red Riding Hood as a framework the majority of the research
looks at the monstrous encounter almost exclusively in the form of lycanthropy, which
lends itself most easily to concepts of metamorphoses and the div ided self. The
werewolf enjoys enormous popularity in many avenues of contemporary culture and
there exists countless references to this particular genre of monstrous encounter.
However, this is not a project about werewolves but an investigation of the monstrous
encounter, whatever form it takes. Whether it is an internal event like the work of
Matthew Barney or an external process as in Cininas's use of Angela Carter's
contemporary Red Riding Hood, the monstrous encounter in art, film and story can be
demonstrated to signify the change from the understood to the unknown self.

Item Type: Thesis (Coursework Master)
Keywords: Monster contemporary culture werewolves little red riding hood fairy tales Matthew Barney Kiki Smith Jazmina Cininas transformation
Date Deposited: 23 Jul 2007
Last Modified: 11 Mar 2016 05:53
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