Jul 21, 2021
S2E09 Identity and Trauma with Dr. Cristina Santos
Play • 58 min

How are our personal and communal identities shaped by the stories we tell ourselves and the traumas we experience? Today's guest, Dr. Cristina Santos, shares how stories like Twilight, the Hunger Games, and Divergent, repackage old ideas of what it means to be a woman and how these fairytale archetypes translate into our social psyche. She will also share her latest project, which investigates the lived experiences of children of survivors of the forced disappearances in Argentina between 1976-1983 and the psychological impact trauma has on both individuals and society as a whole.

Dr. Santos’ research investigates monstrous depictions of women as aberrations of feminine nature in literature, art, and film. She has written about the folklore surrounding the notorious Bloody Countess Elizabeth Bathory, who reputedly murdered hundreds of young girls in late 16th and early 17th century Hungary, and the Latin American legend of La Llorona, a woman who drowns her children.  

Her 2016 book Unbecoming Female Monsters: Witches, Vampires and Virgins explores how female monsters from literature, art, film, television, and popular culture embody social and cultural fears of female sexuality and reproductive powers. She has also co-edited volumes on cultural ideas of virginity, monsters and monstrosity in literature, and the Twilight saga.  

Dr. Santos teaches in the Hispanic and Latin American Studies program in the Department of Modern Languages, Literatures and Cultures. She is also a faculty member with the Interdisciplinary Humanities PhD program, where she teaches and supervises PhD students. She also teaches courses in the Faculty of Social Science.



Dr. Cristina Santos faculty bio

Unbecoming Female Monsters: Witches, Vampires and Virgins (Lexington Books, 2016)

Virgin Envy: The Cultural (In)significance of the Hymen (co-edited with Jonathan A. Allan and Adriana Spahr; University of Regina Press, 2016)

Progressive Connexions

Department of Modern Languages, Literatures and Cultures

Hispanic and Latin America Studies

Interdisciplinary Humanities PhD program



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Foreword is hosted and produced by Alison Innes for the Faculty of Humanities at Brock University. 

Series two sound design and editing is by Nicole Arnt. Theme music is by Khalid Imam

Special thanks to Brock University’s MakerSpace and Brock University Marketing and Communications for studio and web support. 

This podcast is financially supported by the Faculty of Humanities at Brock University.

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