The Monster Professor

Josh Woods

The Monster Professor: a show in which we discuss and explore monsters in literature, myth, film, games, theater, folklore, culture, and beyond. Podcast host: Josh Woods, author, editor, professor, and monster expert.

All Episodes

The universe as monster: author and editor Simon Strantzas joins the show to discuss cosmic horror in literature, the weird vs. the strange, the exploratory philosophy of horror, and more. Find out more about him and his projects through these links: Simon Strantzas’s website: http://strantzas.com Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Simon-Strantzas/e/B004K34LSU?ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1&qid=1599753250&sr=8-1 Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/thinkinghorror/ Also check out the journal Thinking … Continue reading Cosmic Horror with Simon Strantzas

Sep 18

48 min

Real sea monsters staring up at you from the deep, sinkholes suddenly opening under your bed and swallowing you whole, invisible clouds of death seeping from volcanoes and killing whole villages… we explore all these natural horrors and more with Dr. Joseph Van Gaalen, expert in geology and oceanography. The Monster Professor: a show in … Continue reading Monstrous Nature: Ocean and Earth with Joe Van Gaalen

Sep 4

87 min

Richard Thomas is the award-winning author of seven books and over 150 published stories, and he has edited four anthologies and numerous magazines. He also teaches creative writing and contemporary dark fiction. In this episode, we discuss the new era of dark, weird, and horrific stories on both the page and screen, advice on how … Continue reading Monsters in the Contemporary Dark with Richard Thomas

Jul 31

78 min

Michael Chemers, author of The Monster in Theatre History: This Thing of Darkness and a true monster professor in his own right, reveals how vital monsters are to the stage and audiences, and how vital stage-monsters have been to our monstrous imagination to this day. We hit them all: vampires, werewolves, ghosts, constructs, freak-shows—and I … Continue reading Monsters in Theatre with Michael Chemers

Jul 17

71 min

YouTube sensation Steve Ramsey of the channel Woodworking for Mere Mortals just so happens to be a massive horror buff and monster enthusiast. We discuss his horror and Halloween projects (including his infamous Ouija board video), his lifelong journey of finding joy in the dark side, his favorite monsters, and the horror films that make … Continue reading Horror in Woodcraft with Steve Ramsey

May 22

56 min

Four weird writers don disguises to discuss monsters, robots, and the supernatural in their own works, as well as the strange new possibilities for storytelling in social media, virtual reality, and beyond. See the full video, masks-and-all, on YouTube here: https://youtu.be/z4IxJcUF1Ns (and please subscribe). Pinckney Benedict is a Full Professor of creative writing and virtual-reality … Continue reading Masked Monster Professor with Pinckney Benedict, Sarah Jilek, and Mandi Jourdan

May 8

73 min

Monsters and martial arts? What about self-defense against zombies, vampires, and werewolves? What about the real-life human monsters that make martial arts necessary, and which martial art is your best bet? We get answers to these and more by talking with martial arts expert Jeff Westfall, black-belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Ajarn in Muay Thai, black-belt … Continue reading Monsters and the Martial Arts with Jeff Westfall

Apr 24

70 min

Viruses and similar epidemics have infected our horror stories for generations, so let’s discuss some of the most fascinating examples and try to figure out what drives our fear of monstrous plagues. Subscribe to The Monster Professor, a show in which we discuss and explore monsters in literature, myth, film, games, folklore, culture, and beyond. … Continue reading Monstrous Plagues

Mar 13

40 min

I talk with Michael Drout about Grendel, dragons, Balrogs, and more such monsters of both Middle-earths. Michael Drout is one of the world’s leading scholars on Tolkien and Beowulf; author and editor of numerous books, collections, and journals; lecturer on language and liberal arts; expert in Anglo-Saxon; and Professor of English and Director of the … Continue reading Grendel and Middle-earth Monsters with Michael Drout

Feb 7

76 min

I talk with author Valerie Nieman about her gritty supernatural novel To the Bones as well as local folklore, Appalachian monsters, the art of mixing the supernatural with the literary, and more. Find out more about her and her books at www.valnieman.com Subscribe to The Monster Professor, a show in which we discuss and explore … Continue reading Appalachian Folklore Monsters with Valerie Nieman

Jan 24

48 min

I talk with the Tolkien Professor, Corey Olsen, about monsters in The Lord of the Rings and other works by J.R.R. Tolkien. We get into Ring-wraiths, orcs, monstrous transformation, the morality of monster slaying, and the Tolkien Professor’s favorite monster of all time. Olsen’s podcasts and online lectures on Tolkien reached such widespread success and … Continue reading Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings Monsters with Corey Olsen

Nov 2019

68 min

In this episode I explore the disturbing image of the Doppelganger in literature as part of an ongoing attempt to figure out what it means and why, apparently, I have some kind of obsession with it. Subscribe to The Monster Professor, a show in which we discuss and explore monsters in literature, myth, film, games, … Continue reading Doppelgangers

Nov 2019

46 min

I talk slasher films with novelist and slasher-genre expert Fred Venturini, author of The Escape of Light and The Heart Does Not Grow Back. Find out more about him at https://fredventurini.com/ Subscribe to The Monster Professor, a show in which we discuss and explore monsters in literature, myth, film, games, folklore, culture, and beyond. Podcast … Continue reading Slashers with Fred Venturini

Oct 2019

62 min

I talk with the prolific novelist Laura Benedict, author of mysteries, thrillers, and gothics (most recently the novel The Stranger Inside) about such topics as ghosts in literature, the supernatural in storytelling, gothic influences, and sewing body parts together. Find out more about her at https://www.laurabenedict.com/ Subscribe to The Monster Professor, a show in which … Continue reading Literary Ghosts and Gothics with Laura Benedict

Oct 2019

51 min

I talk with Matt Davids, who is the game-master behind Dicegeeks.com as well as an Amazon best-selling author of RPG supplements. We discuss storytelling with monsters, the creative process of narrative, and the strange new paths of self-publishing. Find out more about him at https://www.dicegeeks.com Subscribe to The Monster Professor, a show in which we … Continue reading RPG Monsters with Matt Davids

Oct 2019

63 min

Dr. Tom Shippey is widely recognized as one of the world’s leading scholars in his field. He has published more than 100 articles, mostly in the fields of Old and Middle English language and literature, and he has a long-standing interest in modern fantasy and science fiction. He is a regular reviewer for The Wall … Continue reading Monster Taxonomy with Tom Shippey

Oct 2019

50 min

I talk with Kermit Moore, who is not only a real-life crime-fighter and doughty opponent of evil–a modern paladin, if you will–but has also been rendered as three different fictional characters in various publications. We discuss the confrontation with true evil and how to deal with it, as well as the nature of intuition, premonition, … Continue reading Confronting Real Evil with Kermit Moore

Sep 2019

81 min

I talk with the award-winning creators of the tabletop roleplaying games Mouse Guard, Torchbearer, and Burning Wheel (among others) about their unique approach to game design, the art bringing stories to life at the table, the role of monsters in quests and adventures, and the monstrous nature of humanity itself. Luke Crane is also Head … Continue reading Tabletop Monsters with RPG Designers Luke Crane and Thor Olavsrud

Sep 2019

61 min

In this one-year anniversary episode, I speak with Monster Professor VIP and most frequent guest, Pinckney Benedict, this time more broadly about storytelling, podcasting, and his favorite monsters. Pinckney Benedict hails from West Virginia and earned degrees from Princeton and the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. He has published a novel, DOGS OF GOD, and three books … Continue reading Monsters and Storytelling with Pinckney Benedict

Aug 2019

53 min

John Michael Greer is a widely read author and blogger whose work focuses on the overlaps between ecology, spirituality, and the future of industrial society. He has published 24 books (and counting) on spirituality, the paranormal, and the occult, including MONSTERS: AN INVESTIGATOR’S GUIDE and THE NEW ENCYCLOPEDIA OF THE OCCULT, which are not to … Continue reading Real Magic and the Occult with John Michael Greer

Aug 2019

63 min

Emmy-winning and Oscar-nominated special effects make-up artist Edward French is known for his work on TV (Westworld, House, etc.), in movies (Star Trek VI, Terminator 2, etc.), in commercials (the Spectrum ad monster campaign, etc.), but he also has a simultaneous audiobook/narration career in which he gives voice to horror, fantasy, and science-fiction literature (by … Continue reading Monster FX Makeup for the Screen with Edward French

Jul 2019

45 min

Fantasy and science-fiction indie filmmaker Ron Newcomb shares his insights on how you can get your own indie project off the ground—films, shows, comic books, you name it—and some of the new media platforms he’s helping to pioneer. We discuss the wide and passionate appeal of otherworldly storytelling and why monsters are necessary for it. … Continue reading Indie Monsters in Fantasy and SF with Ron Newcomb

Jul 2019

47 min

Alluring and mysterious in both mythic poems and historical records, they will sing to you of secrets and storms, and you will listen at your own peril. Subscribe to The Monster Professor, a show in which we discuss and explore monsters in literature, myth, film, games, folklore, culture, and beyond. Podcast host: Josh Woods, author, … Continue reading Sirens and Mermaids

Jun 2019

41 min

Joseph Nigg is perhaps the world’s leading expert on fabulous beasts, and he is a personal inspiration of mine. His books include The Phoenix: An Unnatural Biography of a Mythical Beast (University of Chicago Press), Sea Monsters: A Voyage Around the World’s Most Beguiling Map (University of Chicago Press), The Book of Fabulous Beasts (Oxford … Continue reading Fabulous Beasts with Joseph Nigg

Jun 2019

72 min

I get to talk with a television horror hero of mine, Mac Kelly, host of Wolfman Mac’s Chiller Drive-In! We talk monsters, retro spook shows, haunted houses, and more. Subscribe to The Monster Professor, a show in which we discuss and explore monsters in literature, myth, film, games, folklore, culture, and beyond. Podcast host: Josh … Continue reading Wolfman Mac’s Chiller Drive-In with Wolfman Mac Kelly

May 2019

47 min

It’s time to dedicate an episode to the storytelling phenomenon that is still going strong after 200 years. Subscribe to The Monster Professor, a show in which we discuss and explore monsters in literature, myth, film, games, folklore, culture, and beyond. Podcast host: Josh Woods, author, editor, professor, and monster expert: joshwoodsauthor.com

May 2019

51 min

From the Temple of Solomon to the dunes of Arrakis lurk fabulous and monstrous worms. Subscribe to The Monster Professor, a show in which we discuss and explore monsters in literature, myth, film, games, folklore, culture, and beyond. Podcast host: Josh Woods, author, editor, professor, and monster expert: joshwoodsauthor.com

Apr 2019

49 min

Strangling vines, bewitching forests, bloodthirsty houseplants–they’re mean and green, and they are bad. Subscribe to The Monster Professor, a show in which we discuss and explore monsters in literature, myth, film, games, folklore, culture, and beyond. Podcast host: Josh Woods, author, editor, professor, and monster expert: joshwoodsauthor.com

Apr 2019

42 min

In this episode I respond to the common request to clarify how I define “monster,” and I explain how that relates to my theory about the fundamental story-telling structure of Horror. Subscribe to The Monster Professor, a show in which we discuss and explore monsters in literature, myth, film, games, folklore, culture, and beyond. Podcast … Continue reading Monster Definition and Horror Theory

Mar 2019

41 min

It’s finally time to discuss just some of monsters that J.R.R. Tolkien created and showcased in The Lord of the Rings, these two being among the most relevant monsters to appear in the 20th Century. Subscribe to The Monster Professor, a show in which we discuss and explore monsters in literature, myth, film, games, folklore, … Continue reading Ring-wraiths and Barrow-wights

Mar 2019

42 min

Just because it’s not there doesn’t mean it’s not there. Subscribe to The Monster Professor, a show in which we discuss and explore monsters in literature, myth, film, games, folklore, culture, and beyond. Podcast host: Josh Woods, author, editor, professor, and monster expert: joshwoodsauthor.com

Mar 2019

39 min

In this episode, David Schauer picks my brain on the Gothic—particularly the Southern Gothic—for a fascinating graduate-level project of his. Subscribe to The Monster Professor, a show in which we discuss and explore monsters in literature, myth, film, games, folklore, culture, and beyond. Podcast host: Josh Woods, author, editor, professor, and monster expert: joshwoodsauthor.com

Feb 2019

75 min

In this episode, we explore the equipment and strategies you’d need to face of against vampires, witches, ghosts, changelings, demons, and more. Subscribe to The Monster Professor, a show in which we discuss and explore monsters in literature, myth, film, games, folklore, culture, and beyond. Podcast host: Josh Woods, author, editor, professor, and monster expert: … Continue reading How Do You Kill It?

Feb 2019

45 min

In this episode, I talk with author and podcaster Martin Lastrapes about what makes vampires so compelling, how to create your own vampires in fiction, and—believe it or not—what secret lairs are actually under the Las Vegas strip. Find out more about Martin here: https://www.martinlastrapesshow.com/ Subscribe to The Monster Professor, a show in which we … Continue reading Vampires with Martin Lastrapes

Jan 2019

63 min

In this episode, we wander down into the uncanny valley to explore the origins of the mechanical monster, and what makes them tick, maybe what makes us tick. Subscribe to The Monster Professor, a show in which we discuss and explore monsters in literature, myth, film, games, folklore, culture, and beyond. Podcast host: Josh Woods, … Continue reading Robots and Golems

Jan 2019

45 min

Pinckney Benedict returns to talk with me about the Addams family, the Munsters, and other such inhabitants of the familial Gothic. And in this episode, the excellent cover you’ll hear of theme from “The Munsters” is courtesy of The Student Loan Stringband. Subscribe to The Monster Professor, a show in which we discuss and explore … Continue reading Addamses, Munsters, and Monstrous Families with Pinckney Benedict

Dec 2018

43 min

In this episode, we go big as we explore the deep myth of giants and giantesses, and meet a couple of my favorites. Subscribe to The Monster Professor, a show in which we discuss and explore monsters in literature, myth, film, games, folklore, culture, and beyond. Podcast host: Josh Woods, author, editor, professor, and monster … Continue reading Giants

Dec 2018

40 min

In the wake of Turkey Day, we meet some of the biggest, weirdest, and most intriguing birds of myth and folklore.

Nov 2018

37 min

In this episode, I talk with Dr. Sue Hardebeck, professor of Greek Mythology, about some of the coolest monsters from the culture that couldn’t get enough of them. Subscribe to The Monster Professor, a show in which we discuss and explore monsters in literature, myth, film, games, folklore, culture, and beyond. Podcast host: Josh Woods, … Continue reading Monsters of Greek Mythology with Sue Hardebeck

Nov 2018

49 min

They devour the sun and the moon, guard the cave to Hel, slay the gods themselves, even serve as the mascot for this podcast—in this episode we explore the rich and wild tradition of the monstrous wolves of the North. Subscribe to The Monster Professor, a show in which we discuss and explore monsters in … Continue reading Norse Wolves

Nov 2018

44 min

Wendigos, underwater panthers, and a witch chase perhaps more than 10,000 years old—in this episode I speak with Dr. Clint Stevens, professor of Native American Literature, about the monsters who were here first. Subscribe to The Monster Professor, a show in which we discuss and explore monsters in literature, myth, film, games, folklore, culture, and … Continue reading Monsters of Native America with Clint Stevens

Nov 2018

51 min

It’s Halloween! So I shamelessly discuss things I love about it. Subscribe to The Monster Professor, a show in which we discuss and explore monsters in literature, myth, film, games, folklore, culture, and beyond. Podcast host: Josh Woods, author, editor, professor, and monster expert: joshwoodsauthor.com

Oct 2018

39 min

In this episode, we join the horde and go walking with the most popular—and perhaps most relevant—monster of our era. It’s time for zombies. Subscribe to The Monster Professor, a show in which we discuss and explore monsters in literature, myth, film, games, folklore, culture, and beyond. Podcast host: Josh Woods, author, editor, professor, and … Continue reading Zombies

Oct 2018

37 min

In this episode, we discuss the uncanny tradition of the house as monster. Subscribe to The Monster Professor, a show in which we discuss and explore monsters in literature, myth, film, games, folklore, culture, and beyond. Podcast host: Josh Woods, author, editor, professor, and monster expert: joshwoodsauthor.com

Oct 2018

41 min

The most requested episode finally comes a-knocking, and moaning, and rattling chains. It’s time to talk about ghosts. Subscribe to The Monster Professor, a show in which we discuss and explore monsters in literature, myth, film, games, folklore, culture, and beyond. Podcast host: Josh Woods, author, editor, professor, and monster expert: joshwoodsauthor.com

Oct 2018

42 min

From the Mines of Moria, to the sewers of New York City, to the factories of the year A.D. 802,701, there’s a world going on underground. Subscribe to The Monster Professor, a show in which we discuss and explore monsters in literature, myth, film, games, folklore, culture, and beyond. Podcast host: Josh Woods, author, editor, … Continue reading Morlocks and Orcs

Sep 2018

38 min

From primordial chaos to the twilight of the gods, here be dragons. Subscribe to The Monster Professor, a show in which we discuss and explore monsters in literature, myth, film, games, folklore, culture, and beyond. Podcast host: Josh Woods, author, editor, professor, and monster expert: joshwoodsauthor.com

Sep 2018

42 min

They’re wild, widespread, and weirder than you think. In this episode, I talk werewolves with Pinckney Benedict, author of, among many other things, one of the best modern werewolf stories, “The Beginnings of Sorrow.” Subscribe to The Monster Professor, a show in which we discuss and explore monsters in literature, myth, film, games, folklore, culture, … Continue reading Werewolves with Pinckney Benedict

Sep 2018

41 min

The many iterations of Dracula have captivated us for generations, yet each Dracula has been markedly different from the others. In this episode, we welcome them across the threshold. Subscribe to The Monster Professor, a show in which we discuss and explore monsters in literature, myth, film, games, folklore, culture, and beyond. Podcast host: Josh … Continue reading Dracula(s)

Sep 2018

39 min

Witches have been with us throughout time, across the world, across cultures, and in many ways are with us still. Join me in meeting some of them, if you dare. Subscribe to The Monster Professor, a show in which we discuss and explore monsters in literature, myth, film, games, folklore, culture, and beyond. Podcast host: … Continue reading Witches

Sep 2018

42 min

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