1st Edition

Beauty and Monstrosity in Art and Culture

Edited By Chara Kokkiou, Angeliki Malakasioti Copyright 2024
    262 Pages 5 Color & 15 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    262 Pages 5 Color & 15 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This edited volume takes a new look at an old question: what is the relationship between beauty and monstrosity? How has the notion of beauty transformed through the years and how does it coincide with monstrous ontologies? Contributors offer an interdisciplinary approach to how these two concepts are interlinked and emphasize the ways the beautiful and the monstrous pervade human experience.

    The two notions are explored through the axis of human transformation, focusing on body, identity, and gender, while questioning both how humans transform their body and space as well as how humans themselves are gradually transformed in different contexts. The pandemic, gender crisis, moral crisis, sociocultural instability, and environmental issues have redefined beauty and the relationship we have with it. Exploring these concepts through the lens of human transformation can yield valuable insights into what it means to be human in a world of constant change.

    The book will be of interest to scholars working in art history, archaeology, philosophy, architecture, and cultural studies.


    Chara Kokkiou and Angeliki Malakasioti



    “The Garden: A Topological View”

    Angeliki Malakasioti


    2 THE ANCIENT HUMAN: Retracing the Past

    2a. “An Exquisite Appearance, a Beautiful Mind? Thinking of Plato’s Charmides in Plutarch’s Life of Demetrius

    Lucia Athanassaki

    2b. “A Beauty’s Letter and the Beasts: Ariadne’s Heroidian Epistle (Ov. Her. 10)”

    Vaios Vaiopoulos

    2c. “Infernal Women: Polysemic Winged Figures in Etruscan Art.”

    Bice Peruzzi


    3 ON OTHERNESS: A New Kind of Body

    3a. “Bodies of Hybridity: Animal, Cyborg, and the Supernatural Becoming”

    Yiou Wang

    3b. “Teratological Machine in the Female Body: the “Hottentot Venus” as Beauty-and-the-Beast From a Decolonial Feminist Perspective”

    Andrea Torrano

    3c. “Female Body, Disgust, and the Erotic Redefined: The Dialectic Mindshaping”

    Chara Kokkiou


    4 HYBRIDITIES: New Genres and Contexts

    4a. “Anthropogarde of Stage, Cult, and the Popular: Co-ritus, Labyrinths, Actions”

    Knut Ove Arntzen

    4b. “The Politics and Poetics of Contemporary Africanfuturist Fiction”

    Mourad El Fahli

    4c. “Beauties and Beasts: Enchanted Environments as Vehicle for the Creator’s Self-discovery

    Alexandra Antonopoulou


    5 PERFORMING THE HUMAN: Metamorphosis in Art



    5b. “ReWired, ReMixed, and ReImagined: An Interview with Stelarc”

    Stelarc and Angeliki Malakasioti


    6 TECHNOLOGY VS CANONIZATION: Alternative Ontologies and Crossing Boundaries

    6a. “Creating Life: An Embryo Assembly Line”

    Sandra P. Gonzalez-Santos

    6b. “Art of the AIs, By the AIs, For the Art’s Sake.”

    Hideki Nakazawa and Mika Kusakari

    6c. “Robots: Signs of Disruption”

    David J. Gunkel


    7 SPATIAL ONTOLOGIES: Space and Human Transformation

    7a. “Architectural Representation as a Body without Organs”

    Ozan Avci

    7b. “Exploring the Urban Jungle: Making Space for Wildness in Cities”

    Siân Moxon


    8 THE END OF THE HUMAN: Death and Reflections into Morbidity

    8a. “The Aesthetics of Hollowed Experience: Benjamin, Ensor, James”

    Richard Velkley

    8b. “Desiring the Zombie”

    Yorgos Drosos

    8c. “Medusa, Monstrous Beauty, and Neuroaesthetics”

    Michelle Zerba


    9 CODA

    “Truth, Beauty, and Hungry Monsters”

    Chris Hables Gray



    10 Un-Ending: Portrait of a Transforming Human

    Chara Kokkiou and Angeliki Malakasioti


    Chara Kokkiou is a Visiting Assistant Professor at Tulane University, Department of Philosophy, with interdisciplinary academic interests in ancient philosophy, bioethics, and classics and a primary research focus on compassion.

    Angeliki Malakasioti is Assistant Professor in the Department of Audio and Visual Arts, Ionian University, with artistic and research activity in the fields of digital space and culture, audio-visual representations, new technologies, and creative methodologies.