Our New Book Released! Monstrous Nature: Environment and Horror on the Big Screen

Monstrous Nature: Environment and Horror on the Big Screen
Robin L. Murray and Joseph K. Heumann

Link to the book page for orders:,677228.aspx

Godzilla, a traditional natural monster and representation of cinema's subgenre of natural attack, also provides a cautionary symbol of the dangerous consequences of mistreating the natural world-monstrous nature on the attack. Horror films such as Godzilla invite an exploration of the complexities of a monstrous nature that humanity both creates and embodies.

Robin L. Murray and Joseph K. Heumann demonstrate how the horror film and its offshoots can often be understood in relation to a monstrous nature that has evolved either deliberately or by accident and that generates fear in humanity as both character and audience. This connection between fear and the natural world opens up possibilities for ecocritical readings often missing from research on monstrous nature, the environment, and the horror film.

Organized in relation to four recurring environmental themes in films that construct nature as a monster-anthropomorphism, human ecology, evolution, and gendered landscapes-the authors apply ecocritical perspectives to reveal the multiple ways nature is constructed as monstrous or in which the natural world itself constructs monsters. This interdisciplinary approach to film studies fuses cultural, theological, and scientific critiques to explore when and why nature becomes monstrous.

Praise for the book:

"From cannibals to cockroaches, Robin L. Murray and Joseph K. Heumann fill a major gap in the field with this wide-ranging treatment of horror in ecocinema. Scholarship of this kind contributes tremendously to the expansion of ecocriticism from the study of 'literature' per se to the understanding of how environmental themes, such as anthropomorphism and gendered landscapes, occur in visual culture."-Scott Slovic, coeditor of Numbers and Nerves: Information, Emotion, and Meaning in a World of Data

"Compelling. . . . Clear and meticulous. Another tremendous contribution to the field of ecocinema studies."-Stephen Rust, coeditor of Ecocinema Theory and Practice

"[Readers] will find in this new book solid scholarship, broad research in the cinematic references necessary to approach the topics, and insightful analysis and juxtaposition of films . . . all contributing to our understanding of how 'horror' is among us now in the very real prospects of violent and sudden climate change."-Charles J. Stivale, editor of Gilles Deleuze: Key Concepts

Dr. Robin L. Murray, Professor of English and Women's Studies
Film Studies Minor Coordinator
Eastern Illinois Writing Project Director


Online resources for film/TV studies may be found at ScreenSite