Thursday, November 14, 2019

NEPCA Monsters Area 2019 Panels

Here are the final panel breakdowns for our inaugural Monsters and the Monstrous Area sessions. 

Northeast Popular Culture Association 2019 Annual Conference
15-16 November 2019
Sheraton Portsmouth Harborside Hotel, Portsmouth, NH

NEPCA Monsters and the Monstrous Area 2019
Michael A. Torregrossa, Area Chair

Session 5: Saturday 9:30-10:45am
Monsters and the Monstrous I: Reimagining Monsters (Thaxter, Lobby Level)
Chair: Don Vescio, Worcester State University

 “The Monstrosity of Heroism in Beowulf
Richard Fahey, University of Notre Dame 

Richard Fahey is a PhD candidate at the University of Notre Dame, who is scheduled to graduate this January. In addition to his studies, Richard serves as Assistant Project Manager for Notre Dame’s Medieval Studies Research Blog and Assistant Book Review Editor for the Journal of Religion & Literature. His research areas include allegory, monstrosity, wonders and riddles, especially in Old English, Latin, Old Norse-Icelandic and Middle English literature. Richard is also interested medievalism, including the works of J. R. R. Tolkien and George R. R. Martin, and modern adaptations of medieval literature.

 “Vegetarianism and Synthetic Blood: Green Neoliberal Vampires”
Jessica Hautsch, Stony Brook University 

Jessica Hautsch is a PhD student at Stony Brook University. She has published and presented numerous papers about the Whedonverse focusing on representations of race and gender in Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Her current research combines rhetorical and cognitive theory in an analysis of reading and writing practices in digital fan communities.

“In the Footsteps of Fox Mulder: When Will We Know?”
Don Vescio, Worcester State University 

Don Vescio is a faculty member of Worcester State University’s Department of English.  After serving ten years as Worcester State’s Chief Information Office/Vice President of Information Technologies, and two years as Vice President of Enrollment Management and Marketing, Don now focuses his energies on teaching undergraduate and graduate students in a variety of disciplines.  His research interests are in critical theory, narratological analysis, and information design.

Session 6: Saturday 11:00am- 12:15pm
Monsters and the Monstrous II: Everyday Monsters (Thaxter, Lobby Level)
Chair: Richard Fahey, University of Notre Dame 

“Blood-Drinkers of the Nineteenth Century”
Rachel Widmer, University of Arkansas

Rachel Widmer is a Masters student at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville, Arkansas. She is currently working on her Master’s Thesis which focuses on an unusual blood cure for consumption in nineteenth century America, and its cultural implications as related to the vampire from the Romantic Period into modern day. She works as a Registrar at a small museum, and lives with her boyfriend, Joel and her adorable cat, Lucifer.

 “The Girl in The Seven Year Itch is a Monster”
Abigail Driver, University of West Georgia 

Abigail Driver is currently completing her M.A. in English at The University of West Georgia. Her special areas of research are women's literature, monstrosity, and pedagogy. In addition, Abigail is an English teacher in Carrollton, Georgia. She teaches 9th grade English and AP Literature and Composition. Her passion is helping students discover new perspectives on literature.

 “The Familiar Other in Derf Backderf’s My Friend Dahmer
Patrick Woodstock, Concordia University 

Patrick Woodstock is currently completing his MA in Film Studies at Concordia University in Montréal. His research is primarily concerned with the application of queer and feminist perspectives towards contemporary and historical popular visual cultures, with a specific focus on classical Hollywood, camp, horror media and the histories of decadent aesthetics.

Session 8: Saturday, 3:00pm- 4:15pm 
Monsters and the Monstrous III: Monsters and their Afterlives (Thaxter, Lobby Level)
Chair: Ava Brillat, University of Miami 

“Individuation and the Beast Within: A Jungian Interpretation of Andre Norton’s The Year of the Unicorn” (102)
Kathleen Healey, Worcester State University

Dr. Kathleen Healey is an adjunct instructor at Worcester State University.  She is the co-editor with Sharon Healey Yang of Gothic Landscapes: Changing Eras, Changing Cultures, Changing Anxieties.  Her publications include essays on gothic literature and the relationship between literature and the visual arts. 

“King Arthur vs. Cthulhu: The Motif of Arthur Redivivus in Lovecraft-inspired Arthuriana”
Michael A. Torregrossa, Independent Scholar 

Michael A. Torregrossa is Monsters and the Monstrous Area Chair. He is a graduate if the Medieval Studies program at the University of Connecticut (Storrs), and his research focuses on aspects of the medieval in popular culture, including fiction, film and television, and comics.

“The Kids Aren’t Alright: Monstrous Children and Parental Fears”
Ava Brillat, University of Miami, and April Mann, University of Miami 

Ava Brillat is the Learning & Research Services Librarian for English, Theatre Arts, and Classical Studies at the University of Miami.  She has presented on the family as the source of fear and the abject in horror movies at the Pop Culture Association/ American Culture Association Annual Meeting in 2019.  Her genre research is focused on familial relationships in horror movies.
April Mann is a senior lecturer in the University of Miami’s Composition Program, teaching courses in first year writing for Engineering students and advanced writing for STEM fields.  She has directed the Writing Center since 2004 and provided grant- and article-writing support to the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine since 2015.  April has recently co-authored an article entitled “Crossing the Bridge: Writing and Research Bridge Programming for an Intensive English Program” in the edited collection Teaching, Information Literacy, and Writing Studies. V.2, Upper Level and Graduate Courses.

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