Presentation Title

Out of the Margins: Nature and Monsters in the Middle Ages

Student Presenter(s) and Advisor

Benton Ludgin, Lake Forest CollegeFollow

Location

Skybox

Abstract

Medieval monsters command the attention of their audiences, both past and present. It would therefore be a mistake to dismiss these creatures as mere distractions. Lurking in the liminal zones between Christian civilization and the natural world, monsters existed in medieval minds as flesh and blood beings and also acted as projections of their creator’s worries. Focusing on Beowulf’s Grendel and the “monstrous races” called blemmye and cynocephali, this presentation describes how medieval monsters and their habitats were imagined both as real creatures and places, and as actors and stages where the Middle Ages projected their cultural anxieties.

Presentation Type

Individual Presentation

Start Date

4-10-2018 10:30 AM

End Date

4-10-2018 11:45 AM

Panel

Symbols and Society

Panel Moderator

Stacy Oliver

Field of Study for Presentation

History, Medieval and Renaissance Studies

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Apr 10th, 10:30 AM Apr 10th, 11:45 AM

Out of the Margins: Nature and Monsters in the Middle Ages

Skybox

Medieval monsters command the attention of their audiences, both past and present. It would therefore be a mistake to dismiss these creatures as mere distractions. Lurking in the liminal zones between Christian civilization and the natural world, monsters existed in medieval minds as flesh and blood beings and also acted as projections of their creator’s worries. Focusing on Beowulf’s Grendel and the “monstrous races” called blemmye and cynocephali, this presentation describes how medieval monsters and their habitats were imagined both as real creatures and places, and as actors and stages where the Middle Ages projected their cultural anxieties.