2014: Our Fearful Fascination with “the Other”

This year’s symposium is themed “Our Fearful Fascination with the Other.” Othering is a concept rooted in a rich philosophical tradition that refers to the process by which we make something foreign or alien based on its divergence from our familiarity with it. Through conceptualizing an entity as “the Other,” we transform someone from a subject to an object of our interactions and, in doing so, othering becomes a form of oppression and serves possibly as a way to subsume or fetishize our fears into something a bit more manageable. Othering is something we often engage in subconsciously. Scary movies and fearsome creatures, like zombies, often represent the fetishization of our fears and specifically our fear of others. In this conference, we will explore how our internal and societal values conflict with conceptualizing and engaging with “the Other” through an exploration of representations of monsters and the zombie genre.

 

 

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