Title of Oral/Poster Presentation

The Demon in the Top Hat

Presenter Information

Magen OlsenFollow

Class

Article

Department

English

Faculty Mentor

Lisa Gabbert

Presentation Type

Oral Presentation

Abstract

Cuckold. Jew. Mormon. The commonality between these groups is that they are all stigmatized by the same rumor; that members of these groups conceal horns on their heads, indicating something dark and sinister about their characters. How have horns in particular come to be associated negatively towards such groups, and why have horned characters persisted in folklore through the centuries even up to the present day? In the history of western civilization, horns have been associated with anything from pagan gods to the Devil himself, transitioning between positive and negative connotations. In this presentation, I will begin an exploration of the symbolism of horns and antlers, with an ultimate goal of finding out the origins of some of our modern horn legends and what they say about ourselves and the way we approach 'otherness'.

Start Date

4-9-2015 4:00 PM

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Apr 9th, 4:00 PM

The Demon in the Top Hat

Cuckold. Jew. Mormon. The commonality between these groups is that they are all stigmatized by the same rumor; that members of these groups conceal horns on their heads, indicating something dark and sinister about their characters. How have horns in particular come to be associated negatively towards such groups, and why have horned characters persisted in folklore through the centuries even up to the present day? In the history of western civilization, horns have been associated with anything from pagan gods to the Devil himself, transitioning between positive and negative connotations. In this presentation, I will begin an exploration of the symbolism of horns and antlers, with an ultimate goal of finding out the origins of some of our modern horn legends and what they say about ourselves and the way we approach 'otherness'.