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Janhavi Mittal

Looking through the lens of one of monster narratives’ most captivating examples, that of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, as well as its late twentieth century adaptations in an X Files episode titled ‘The Postmodern Prometheus’ and Shelley Jackson’s literary hypertext Patchwork Girl, this chapter argues that the fragmented and de-naturalised postmodernist reality has allowed for a shift in embodied monstrosity to the liminal figure of the cyborg. Furthermore, these two intrinsically postmodern meta-fictional adaptations of Frankenstein that resist the possibility of an overruling narrative perform the analogous function of the monstrous sign itself - that of re-evaluating the constructed-ness of established narratives, both of literature and of the body in society. This chapter thus addresses the potential of the postmodern and post-human metaphor to constantly disrupt conceptual systems steeped in ideas of centre, hierarchy and uniformity, instead re-invigorating them with plurality and non-normative differences between subjects without dismissing their corporeality. My analysis then appropriates these inferences from the purview of disability studies, engaging with issues pertaining to ways of representing bodily difference. Finally, after tracing a parallel social trajectory of the semantic shifts in the monster sign giving way to the cyborg, post-human metaphor, I examine the latter’s ability of de-naturalising the body with respect to challenging impairment as a pre-discursive category and the social production of disability.

Janhavi Mittal

Looking through the lens of one of monster narrative’s most captivating example, that of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, and its late twentieth century adaptations in an episode of The X Files entitled ‘The Postmodern Prometheus’ and Shelley Jackson’s literary hypertext Patchwork Girl, this chapter argues that the fragmented and denaturalised postmodernist reality has allowed for a shift in embodied monstrosity to the liminal figure of the cyborg. Furthermore, these two intrinsically postmodern meta-fictional adaptations of Frankenstein that resist the possibility of an overruling narrative, perform the analogous function of the monstrous sign itself—that of re-evaluating the constructed-ness of established narratives, both of literature and of the body in society. The chapter addresses the potential of the postmodern and posthuman metaphor to constantly disrupt conceptual systems steeped in ideas of centre, hierarchy, and uniformity, re-invigorating them instead with plurality and non-normative differences between subjects without dismissing their corporeality. The chapter appropriates these inferences from the purview of disability studies, engaging with issues pertaining to ways of representing bodily difference. Finally, after tracing a parallel social trajectory of the semantic shifts in the monster sign giving way to the cyborg, posthuman metaphor, the chapter examines the latter's ability of denaturalising the body with respect to challenging impairment as a pre-discursive category and the social production of disability.

Erin Ashenhurst

The remnant of a woman’s shoe appears in a glass display case; a child-sized crutch is discovered in a plundered backyard; blocks from the beach, an apartment building sags with the trappings of former glamour. Are these landscapes of the mundane – or the ominous? In this research, I consider the nature of several urban geographies reimagined through the eyes of voyeurs. Each site sheds its everyday familiarity as it is encoded with the menacing narrative of past events. On the Errol Flynn Walking and Drinking Tour, artist David Look reports from the neon-lit interior of a stretch limo skulking through Vancouver. On the 51st anniversary of Flynn’s death revellers retrace the sites of the star’s fateful visit in 1959. On a heritage tour of the Penthouse Nightclub, guests are granted backstage access to this club once frequented by Hollywood’s finest. Now featuring exotic dancers (and less discerning of its clientele), the space is haunted by tales of better days. At the Vancouver Police Museum, formerly the home of the Coroner’s Morgue, Errol Flynn’s post-mortem stopover is honoured by a painting of the actor hung beside a wall of organs in murky Petri dishes. While the historic autopsy facilities seem to epitomize morbidity, the museum’s chamber of historic murders showcases crime scene evidence, transporting the viewer into tales of horror. Here, the display of personal items denotes the distressing absence of their original owners. This work inspects how memory and history are matched with site-specific experience to construct monstrous landscapes out of familiar spaces. Exploring how museums and tours fuel the imagination, this research looks to stimulate dialogue around the curious allure of ghastly narratives.

Erin Ashenhurst

The remnant of a woman’s shoe appears in a glass display case; a child-sized crutch is discovered in a plundered backyard; blocks from the beach, an apartment building sags with the trappings of former glamour. Are these landscapes of the mundane - or the ominous? In this research, I consider the nature of several geographies reimagined through the eyes of voyeurs. Each site sheds its everyday familiarity as it is encoded with the menacing narrative of past events. These narratives play with transference of collective memory and indulge their audiences’ delight in the uncanny. This work inspects how memory and history are matched with site-specific experience to construct monstrous landscapes out of familiar spaces. Exploring how museums and walking tours fuel the imagination, this research looks to stimulate dialogue around the curious allure of ghastly narratives.

Anne-Laure van Bruaene

intellectual and in a practical sense. SPECTACLE AND SPIN FOR A SPURNED PRINCE. CIVIC STRATEGIES IN THE ENTRY CEREMONIES OF THE DUKE OF ANJOU IN ANTWERP, BRUGES AND GHENT (1582) 1 ANNE-LAURE VAN BRUAENE Postdoctoral Researcher Fund for National Research—Flanders, Ghent University A bstract In 1582, the