Collective voices and the materialisation of ideas: monster as methods

Where do ideas come from? And how are certain ideas and stories reproduced and maintained, whereas other stories end up marginalized, untold or unheard, even monsterised? In this collective keynote speech given at the Symposium Monstrous Ontologies: Politics, Ethics, Materiality at the University of Roehampton, U.K  on 1 July 2019, we grapple with questions of how ideas materialise, and how they are (re-)presented in our own thinking and writing about the monster. For us, the monster is a thinking tool that allows us to explore the supposed divisions between acceptable and unstable or disregarded knowledges or ideas, drawing attention to the production of knowledge, including how knowledge comes to be embodied. Through a collective, multi-voice approach, this talk experiments with incoherence and monstrous origin stories in order to try out how working with the monster require not only themes or topics, but also methods and practices. In this talk, we practice monster methodologies.  We aim to bring out how ideas, thoughts and knowledges intersect, overlap and diverge, but also show how certain stories and imaginaries haunt us or intrude in our thinking as unpredictable agents.  Through sharing our supposedly separate threads of thought, we experiment with differences as a modus operandi, or a common ground for thinking together. This, we hope, will spawn ways of thinking otherwise about  – and with – ideas and their materialisations.