Exhuming Monsters at the Museum of the Rockies

Posted: May 16, 2012 by extremehistory in Uncategorized


While a few archaeological studies have attempted to identify monstrosity (specifically cannibalism and vampirism) in the archaeological record, no studies have considered the broader implications of the social construction and contextuality of monstrosity and monstrous behavior, how these conceptualizations change through time, and how they inform continuing issues of intolerance, violence, and xenophobia.  In effect, historical archaeologists perpetuate a normalized and sanitized vision of the past by either downplaying or ignoring any discussion of the dark underside of human experience that involves beliefs and behaviors deemed too fantastical or deviant.  This lecture will present ideas about the social and psychological construction of monsters, the role monsters play in sociocultural identity and risk management, and what these understandings mean for the interpretation of archaeological artifacts and sites.

C. Riley Augé, PhD Candidate, U of Montana

Adjunct Faculty: University of Montana and Flathead Valley Community College

Augé holds a BA in English Literature, a MA in Mythology and Folklore, and is in the final stages of completing her PhD in Cultural Heritage Studies and Applied Anthropology with an Archaeology emphasis.  She currently teaches courses in Comparative Mythology; Historical Archaeology; and Myth, Ritual and Religion.  Her research focuses on the material expression of traditional beliefs in magic and the supernatural.

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