July 14, 2024

Foss Presents Paper at Northeast Modern Language Association Convention

On April 14, Professor of English Chris Foss presented a conference paper entitled “Locating the Monstrous Body in Monstress and My Favorite Thing Is Monsters through a Disability Studies Lens” at the 49th annual convention of the Northeast Modern Language Association in Pittsburgh.

His paper took for its focus the highly praised comics collections Monstress, Vols. 1 and 2, by Marjorie Liu/Sana Takeda (Image Comics 2016-17) and the much ballyhooed debut graphic novel My Favorite Thing is Monsters [Book One] by Emil Ferris (Fantagraphics Books 2016).

Foss explored how that the location of the monstrous body in this particular textual format, and in these two texts in particular, offers a range of diverse possibilities for both reinforcing and exploding the literary and the literal normative borders that have been constructed to define what is monstrous as defective and deformed and disabled and diseased.  Using an intersectional approach, he aimed to suggest how multiple other facets of the monstrous (including ethnic/racial, foreign, freakish, gothic, hybrid, perverse, political, and sexual aspects) overlap with disabled monstrosity and together blur, cross, deconstruct, and/or erase numerous inextricably interrelated borders within and around the human.