The Monster Network connects those with an interest in monsters and the monstrous. The aim of the Network is to spark international collaborations such as conferences, workshops, publications and symposiums as well as create a space for discussions and information on all things monstrous.


The founding members of the Monster Network

sprouting keyboard 2.0
Image description: black computer keyboard with green cress growing out of it

Ingvil Hellstrand is associate professor with the Centre for Gender Studies at the University of Stavanger, Norway (UiS). She holds an MA in women’s studies from Lancaster University, UK, and a PhD in social sciences from UiS. Her research interests are storytelling practices and knowledge production, science fiction and the posthuman. Her current research revolves around science fiction as a method, welfare technologies and caring futures, and posthuman ethics. Recent publications include articles in the journals Somatechnics, Feminist Theory, and Norwegian Journal for Care Research. She has a soft spot for spiders.

Image description: A woman’s upper torso, visible from the neck down. The woman is wearing a black cardigan and a black and white dotted blouse with jewellery depicting two eyes attached to the collar.

Aino-Kaisa Koistinen is a poet and a postdoctoral researcher in Contemporary Culture Studies at the University of Jyväskylä, Finland. She holds an MA in Literature (University of Oulu, FI), PhD in Contemporary Culture Studies (University of Jyväskylä, FI), and Title of Docent in Media Culture (University of Turku, FI). Her research interests include affect, violent fiction, popular culture (such as speculative and crime fiction), feminist posthumanism, animal studies, and ecocriticism. She recently co-edited the book Reconfiguring the Human, Nonhuman and Posthuman in Literature and Culture for Routledge (with Sanna Karkulehto and Essi Varis). When not preoccupied with research, she enjoys writing science fiction and poetry, playing guitar, and relaxing with her companion cat. Her poetry book Uhanalaiset ja silmälläpitävät (The Endangered and Others of Interest) will be published in 2021 by Palladium Kirjat.

Image description: Person, almost visible but largely transparent, holding a mug in a kitchen. Through the person we see various kitchen appliances. Photo copyright: Donna McCormack

Dr. Donna McCormack is a senior lecturer in English Literature at the University of Surrey. She is currently working on an AHRC Leadership Fellowship on Transplant Imaginaries. Her main research interests are biotechnologies in contemporary literature and film, evolutionary theory, postcolonial studies, and queer theory. Her first monograph is entitled Queer Postcolonial Narratives and the Ethics of Witnessing (Bloomsbury Press, 2014), and she has publications in the European Journal of Cultural Studies, Somatechnics and BMJ Medical Humanities, as well as in edited collections such as Bodily Exchanges, Bioethics and Border Crossing (London: Routledge, 2015). She is the coordinator of the Nordic Network Gender, Body, Health, as well as a founding member of the Monster Network.

Monstrorum Historia Ulissa Androvandi 1642
Image description: drawing of an early modern humanoid monster with three heads: one eagle, one dragon and one wolverine. The torso has breasts. The arms are outstretched: one is humanoid, the other is a claw with talons. From the chest down to the feet, the body is covered in green scales. There are two human feet with one webbed foot and one animal foot with claws sticking out behind. A brown, hairy tail slings around the waist. The figure stands on a patch of green grass, the background is white.

Sara E. S. Orning is a Senior Lecturer at the Centre for Gender Research at the University of Oslo. She received an MA in Critical Theory from University of Sussex and her PhD in Literature from University of California, Santa Cruz. Her research interests are monstrosity, humanness, and the production of the two in different time periods and media. She explores this in her research on disability studies, animal studies, posthumanism, and television, literature and films. Recent and in-press publications include articles in Tidsskrift for kjønnsforskning, Nordic Journal of Migration Research, and Somatechnics, and chapters in the edited anthologies Theories of Affect and Concepts in Generic Skills Education: Adventurous Encounters (2017) and Animalities: Literary and Cultural Studies Beyond the Human (2017). She is on a daily lookout for monsters in the suburbs.

Image description: A blurred image of a woman with short hair and glasses, wearing a blue dress and grey cardigan and holding a backpack in her right hand, standing on a light grey floor with streaks of water (or waves of energy, or ghosts, or spirits) coming down in front of her. Photo by Sara Orning.

Line Henriksen is a founding member of the Network, and left in 2022 to pursue other avenues of monstrous interest. Her work continues to haunt the network. She is the author of the monograph In the Company of Ghosts – Hauntology, Ethics, Digital Monsters (2016), and her research interests include feminist theory, methodology and ethics, monster theory, hauntology, creative writing and digital horror stories such as creepypasta. She writes speculative short stories, and her favourite monster is Smile.dog.