Manufacturing Monsters is a research project at UiT – The Arctic University of Norway (Faculty of Humanities, Social Sciences, and Education) that focuses on the construction of monsters in different media and genres.
The project emerged from the co-taught interdisciplinary MA course HIF-3111: Manufacturing Monsters that was developed by Beyer, Bockwoldt and Hammar in 2016. It has been offered in the spring terms of 2017 and 2018 and has attracted a significant number of students from ISK, ISV, and CPS. Due to regular participation of members of staff in all lectures and seminars, the co-taught course developed into a form of research platform where students and staff in close exchange developed ideas and innovative combinations of theoretical frameworks and methods.
The resulting project focuses on the ways through which media such as fiction film, documentaries, computer games, television programmes, news, and others frame someone or something as monstrous. Connecting formal analysis of media ‘texts’ (Erll, Pötzsch) with critical studies of the political economy and institutional dynamics of media production (Hermann and Chomsky, Artz, DerDerian, Hoskins and O’Loughlin, Pötzsch) and the socio-political dynamics of securitization (Buzan, deWildt, Wæver), we aim at delivering a comprehensive account of media-fueled processes and practices of othering and demonization, and critically address socio-political, economic, and technological ramification. A separate diachronic dimension focusing on history as well as cultural and media memory (Erll, Reading, Hammar) offers insights into historical precedents of contemporary practices and provides insights into the formation of future pasts in the present. The project will also look into artistic and other responses and resistances to such medial frames (Steinholt).