About this website:
Monstrosity is a ubiquitous part of the human experience. For everything, there exists a deviation so severe that it seems to be horrifying and offensive beyond words. This deviation is a difference that elucidates the liminality between “us” and “them”, “it” and “I”. Even animated films intended for children such as The Penguins of Madagascar (2014) depict the concept of monstrosity and its fluidity. The villainous squid Dave expressed his despair and rage at being made a monster, and his intention of revenge by turning all adorable penguins into monsters: “Yes, I’m the monster. Everyone made that clear to me every day of my life. But now let’s see how much everyone loves you when you’re the monster”. Likewise, political discourse often contains competitors naming each other as monsters who will ruin the nation. Numerous religions use the same tactics to assert their own superiority. The news is filled with horror stories that push the limits of the human capacity to understand monstrosity and healthily cope with it. Thus, we exist in a system that both rejects and nourishes the monstrous. Teratology, the study of monsters and monstrosity, is dedicated to understanding the significance and complexity of that system in the hope of better understanding ourselves, and being in a better position to live the Good Life.
About the author:
Saraliza Anzaldua is a teratologist that studies the significance of monstrosity through philosophical and Critical discourse. She is a doctoral student in the philosophy department at UCLA. From 2013 to 2016, she lived in Taiwan where she studied Chinese philosophy, traditional Mandarin, and Japanese martial philosophy. While there, she taught English for three years and studied at National Taiwan University. She holds a B.A. in Sociology from the University of Texas, and an M.A. in English Literature from National Taiwan University. She’s long been a student of philosophy and its use across disciplines. Saraliza earned a minor in philosophy from the University of Texas, and she studied for a year in Harvard’s philosophy department as a visiting graduate student. She hopes to continue her work as a doctoral student, and publish the first comprehensive exegesis of Teratology as a philosophical means to moral and social understanding. Some of her work is available on academia.edu.
Artistically, she is a writer and dancer. Trained in classical ballet, she eventually combined her love of dance and climbing into the aerial arts. Saraliza is a competitor dancer, and to date has won two awards as a pole dancer. Poetry will always be her first love, with horror a close second. She has written numerous books thus far, and never plans to stop. When not conducting research or writing, she spends her time dancing, reading, watching horror films, traveling the world, and eating strawberries. She tries valiantly, but her Spanish is terrible and Mandarin even worse. Lastly, she has had a (un)healthy obsession with turtles since childhood, especially of the ninja variety, and you can usually find her scavenging comic conventions for first prints or merchandise.
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