Our Monstrous (S)kin

9781904710936Our Monstrous (S)kin

Blurring the Boundaries Between Monsters and Humanity


edited by
Sorcha Ní Fhlainn


ISBN: 978-1904710-93-6

238 pages


Our Monstrous (S)kin breaks through the permeable border that previously separated the monster from us, and find that the monster, no longer Other, has become an integral part of the darker side of ourselves. Our monsters, as our kin, split, proliferate and become unbound: they narrate our darkest desires, our discriminations, our abjections, our fantasies, our participation in evil, and our quest for deeper understanding and meaning. With chapters ranging from bodies in the throes of addiction, and ‘enfreakment’; serial killers, cannibals and vampires, and the mythical holy grail; cyborg women, medieval witches and Greek monsters, and disguising feminine skin; monstrous populations in literature, cinema, history, and speaking from behind the broken skin of the screen; this collection will be of particular interest to scholars of media and cinema studies, cultural historians, popular culture, women’s studies, literature, and sociology. Its wide appeal stems from the recognition what we are indeed surrounded, and engulfed, by monsters – a recognisable, yet often abhorrent, aspect of ourselves. Our monsters as kith and kin are already under the surfaces and borders designed to keep them at bay. By working their way out, we become the very site of this monstrous hybridity.


Our Monstrous (S)kin: Blurring the Boundaries Between Monsters and Humanity
Sorcha Ní Fhlainn

Section One: Imprisonments of the Body
Fighting the White Monster: Three Stories from the Chinese Compulsory Detoxification Centre
Shing Cheng

Phantom Limbs/Fenian Bodies: Sideshow Freaks, an Irish Frankenstein and Pádraic Ó Conaire’s Exile
Ken Monteith

Section Two: Morality and the Monstrous
Cutting to the Chase: The Monster as the Holy Grail in Modern Cinema and Literature
Con Anemogiannis

Behaving Monst[e]rously: The Super Hero/Serial Killer Dichotomy in the Showtime Series Dexter.
Deborah G. Christie

‘His Eyes Blazed Redly’- Skinning, Satanism and Mephistophelian Romance: Hannibal Lecter and Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1992)
Sorcha Ní Fhlainn

Section Three: The Monstrous Feminine
Abject Cyborg Woman
Glenda Shaw-Garlock

From Greek Myth to Medieval Witches: Infertile Women as Monstrous and Evil
Linda H. McGuire

Cross-dressing, a Monstrous Success: The Lieutenant Nun
M. Soraya García-Sánchez

Section Four: Monstrous Civilisations
Michael Haneke and the Monstrosity of Civilization
Amaya Muruzábal

Cloverfield’s Monstrosity: Ideology and Terror
Steen Christiansen

“Oh, the funnies, the funnies”: The Medieval Monstrous Races in The Voyage of the Dawn Treader and Baudolino
Hannah Priest

Notes on Contributors

The Editor

Sorcha Ni Fhlainn is a lecturer at the School of English, Trinity College Dublin. She has published various articles on horror and the gothic ranging from slashers and social vengeance (with Rodopi), the cultural significance of the 1970s and 1980s, vampire subjectivity and recent cultural history (with Scarecrow Press), and has edited a collection on the Back to the Future trilogy published with McFarland. Upcoming publications include a monograph on the Postmodern Vampire, the subject of her doctoral thesis. She is involved with Inter-Disciplinary.Net as a hub leader on all things Evil; the monstrous, villainous and truly wicked, and is an avid fan of the Gothic and Heavy Metal.