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The Uncanny, Monstrous, and Genocide

imagesI work as a scholar in two major areas, and the monstrous is at the center of both. These two areas came together in some of my recent research in genocide. Not long ago I finished the great book Less Than Human by David Livingstone Smith, that explores the process of dehumanization and how viewing others as subhuman plays a part in the process of genocide. In a YouTube lecture he gave earlier this year on this topic he critiqued his own theory and noted that it is missing elements that he has now included in a paper, and in a forthcoming book. These missing elements include the concepts of the uncanny, as well as the monstrous, and they play a part in the human process of dehumanizing others, which then overrides our inhibitions toward killing others. When the circumstances are right, this can lead to genocide. See the links in this essay to see how Smith incorporates this into his work. It is fascinating to me to see how aspects of horror and the monstrous have application in this important area of research.

Related post:

"Philip Tallon: The Philosophy of Horror"

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