Monster metaphors matter. They show what a culture demonizes and they provide a vocabulary for those who are marked as monstrous to resist.
Elizabeth Young is Carl M. and Elsie A. Small Professor of English at Mount Holyoke College. She is the author of Black Frankenstein: The Making of an American Metaphor and Disarming the Nation: Women’s Writing and the American Civil War and co-author of On Alexander Gardner’s “Photographic Sketch Book” of the Civil War. She is currently completing a book about animal representation in 19th-century North American fiction, visual culture, and taxidermy.
Posts by Elizabeth Young
The first woman to paint the official portrait of a U.S. president, Greta Kempton also painted Cabinet officials, governors, senators, the head of the Atomic Energy Commission, two Postmasters General, a Supreme Court justice, several university presidents, and a Cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church. But what would have happened if she had painted a self-portrait?