Search Results

You are looking at 1 - 5 of 5 items for

  • Author or Editor: Kristen Wright x
  • Search level: All x
Clear All
Monsters have taken many forms across time and cultures, yet within these variations, monsters often evoke the same paradoxical response: disgust and desire. We simultaneously fear monsters and take pleasure in seeing them, and their role in human culture helps to explain this apparent contradiction. Monsters are created in order to delineate where the acceptable boundaries of action and emotion exist. However, while killing the monster allows us to cast out socially unacceptable desires, the prevalence of monsters in both history and fiction reveals humanity’s desire to see and experience the forbidden. We seek, write about, and display monsters as both a warning and wish fulfilment, and monsters, therefore, reveal that the line between desire and disgust is often thin. Looking across genres, subjects, and periods, this book examines what our conflicted reaction to the monster tells us about human culture.

Medieval literature is densely populated by a wide variety of monsters that, as noted by Cohen and others, represent the threat of chaos and the barbaric ‘other’ that exists in the liminal spaces just outside of civilization. Although some of the more extreme versions of these monstrous characters (giants, cenocephali, etc…) have largely disappeared by the Renaissance, black skin is still used as a marker of someone who is both spiritually and physically threatening. In the characters of Caliban and Aaron, Shakespeare not only presents foreign men with black skin who exhibit monstrous behaviours, but he also specifies their threat in terms of the men’s mouths and ability to use language. While the mouth is easily recognizable as a potential sexual orifice, Shakespeare goes a step further and ties these men’s ability to speak and to manipulate their words to their sexual and physical threat. Caliban has learned language imperfectly in order to curse his captors, and he is also unable to fulfil his desire to rape Miranda and ‘people the isle with Calibans’; Aaron, on the other hand, speaks masterfully and is able to manipulate those around him resulting in his greater physical threat. In both of these characters their sexual menace is directly tied to how effectively they can use and understand language. What Shakespeare presents is not primarily the threat of monstrous physical body, but the threat of the monstrous mind.

In: Monstrous Reflection
In: Disgust and Desire
In: Disgust and Desire


Children have a right to have their views sought and given due weight on all matters affecting them, including at times of emergency and crisis. This article describes the process and findings of the ground-breaking CovidUnder19 survey (“Life Under Coronavirus”) which was co-designed with children for children, capturing the experiences of over 26,000 children in 137 countries as to the realisation of their human rights during the first six months of the covid-19 pandemic. Key findings are discussed through the lens of the crc’ s four general principles, read alongside children’s rights, inter alia, to education, play and to be protected from harm. It argues that governments and public bodies should have sought children’s views – not just because they were under an obligation to do so – but because such engagement, now and in crises to come, provides an early warning system that enables decision-makers to mitigate some of the adverse consequences of their responses for children and their rights.

Open Access
In: The International Journal of Children's Rights