Author Topic: Cryptids & Contagion: Pandemics Panic & Monsters of Anxiety Deadline: 2021-04-30  (Read 1022 times)


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Contagion has often been associated with the appearance of monstrous or hybrid creatures that serve as agents, super-spreaders, or patient-zero’s of disease.

Vampires, werewolves, monstrous insects, animal people, enormous bats, phantom entities, reanimated corpses and even riders of the apocalypse have all been seen as vectors of contagion with their appearance simultaneously being a warning, a symptom or manifestation of godly or ecological displeasure that invites in pestilence, pollution and death.

These manifestations appear at the intersection of folklore, superstition, popular culture and even creepypasta finding form in art, literature, film, etc. Indeed recent representations such as The Thing (1951, 1982, 2011), Alien (1979–2017), Girl with All the Gifts (2016), A Quiet Place (2018), Cargo (2017), Bird Box (2018), Sweet Home (2020–), amongst many others that utilize the idea of a monstrous, cryptid other that is simultaneously an uncontrollable, deadly, infection as well as a judgement on human interference and environmental exploitation.

In similar vein recent epidemics and pandemics have created multifarious origin myths around the passing of disease between animals and humans via exotic forms of fauna such as bats, pangolins, mosquitoes and even chickens and pigs which often intentionalize and monster use them in some way.

Alongside this are notions around the idea of “patient zero” and super-spreaders that are equally superhuman yet oddly non-human in their positioning as a focus and energizer for contagion (see Cabin Fever Patient Zero (2014) and Resident Evil (2002–21)) or even the monstrous effects of the cure as seen in Mimic (1997-2003) or I Am Legend (2007).

This collection then is looking for essays providing historical, folkloric, indigenous, cross-cultural, inter-disciplinary and pop cultural perspectives on the ways in which mythical, hybrid entities have and continue to be associated with contagion and disease.

Please send 300 word abstracts or expressions of interest to Simon Bacon by Friday 30th April 2021 for inclusion in a prospective collection (final essays of 6,000–7,000 words due 2023).