On Monsters and the Gifts They Give Us (In-Person)
Public Programs

On Monsters and the Gifts They Give Us (In-Person)

A Conversation With Saraliza Anzaldúa and Zara Zimbardo

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Join CIIS faculty Saraliza Anzaldúa and Zara Zimbardo for a time-traveling conversation about monsters, their roles, impacts, and compelling contradictions. Which monsters would you like to see accompany us into dystopian futures? What monsters arise that both embody and help grapple with catastrophe in the past and present? What are the key implications and processes of monsterization as a form of othering? What are we confronting that is truly monstrous? 

Saraliza and Zara’s conversation is grounded in the foundations of contemporary monster theory and philosophical approaches to the horrific, the uncanny, and the impossible. Their conversation surfaces the many gifts that monsters provide: working through systemic anxiety, testing of moral imagination, dissolving the boundaries of the possible, giving shape to dispersed fear, and questioning what makes us human.  

Monsters can be our allies, inviting creative engagement with our collective shadow sides. They turn the familiar into the unfamiliar and return to pose old questions in new structures. Saraliza and Zara’s conversation stirs our imagination of monsters as warning and wonder, rebellion and power, and the far away and the very near.
   

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Chicana holding a book in front of the lower half of their face. They are wearing a black t-shirt with a Halloween jack o'lantern design, and have on orange eye shadow with black eyeliner make-up. The book is titled "Zombies, Vampires, and Philosophy" and there is a blurred river in the background.

Saraliza Anzaldúa, PhD (ya) is a Chicane philosopher from south Texas and an assistant professor of philosophy at California Institute of Integral Studies in the department of Philosophy, Cosmology, and Consciousness. Ya specializes in monster theory, with interests in both how the ideology of the monster de-humanizes as well as how the lens of monstrosity can illuminate phenomenological and existential nuances. Additionally, ya writes on Indigenous philosophy in Chicane and Mexican traditions with a focus on metaphysics and spirit through a healing lens. Aside from research, ya is passionate about bridging decolonized pedagogy and restorative spirit through community service by advocating for justice in higher education and removing accessibility barriers to knowledge. You can read more here.
 

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Zara Zimbardo color portrait. Zara is a woman with light colored curly hair. She is smiling, standing in front of a wide-trunk of a tree. She has her hands laced and rested on her stomach.

Zara Zimbardo is an adjunct Interdisciplinary Studies faculty in the School of Undergraduate Studies at California Institute of Integral Studies (CIIS). She is the director, a core facilitator, and curriculum designer with Partners for Collaborative Change, which supports organizations to become more equitable through anti-oppression facilitation and coaching and supports community-driven climate resilience planning through participatory action research. She co-founded the White Noise Collective, an anti-racist feminist training and resource organization that supports investigation and transformation of patterns common at the intersection of whiteness and gender marginalization. Zara is a longtime bodyworker and she is an instructor at McKinnon Body Therapy Center. She is passionate about forms of creative facilitation to cultivate critical thinking skills, make unexamined bias conscious, inspire artistic reflection, deepen somatic awareness, and build alliances across differences. Areas of research, publications, and presentations include: the social construction of whiteness, Islamophobia, subversion of stereotypes in a time of war, social justice comedy, modern monsters and the zombie apocalypse, representations of US militarism, dominant narratives of space colonization, expanded present time perspective, and unlearning ableism in alternative healing spaces.  

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Accessibility

If you need to request accessibility accommodations, please email publicprograms@ciis.edu at least one week prior to the event. For more information, explore our Accessibility web page.

Recording Policy

Ticket holders will have access to an ad-free replay of the event for one week after the live event. A replay with ads will be released on our YouTube channel one week after the livestream. Portions of the audio will also be released on our podcast. Only registered ticket holders who choose to watch live can participate in the chat and Q&A.

Refunding Policy

All tickets and donations for this event are nonrefundable.

Related Academic Program
Anthropology and Social Change