Thank you for your interest! While this campaign has reached its conclusion, the Center for Monster Studies ( is always looking to fund our future endeavors — from a proposed monster film festival and our ongoing podcast to next year's Festival of Monsters. We welcome inquiries at

Center for Monster Studies

Raised toward our $25,000 Goal
34 Donors
Project has ended
Project ended on May 12, at 12:00 AM PDT
Project Owners

Center for Monster Studies

In a time of rising prejudice, discrimination and othering, monsters rise. Society uses tropes of monstrosity not only to excuse injustices but also to disguise hate speech and frame oppressive legislation. We see it when goblins embody the stereotype of Jewish moneylenders in Harry Potter, when vampires are coded as dangerous stand-ins for members of the LGTBQ+ community, and when racist hatred manifests in portrayals of werewolves and zombies. Monsterizing the Other is the first step towards legitimizing atrocity. At the same time, redirecting, reimagining, and commenting on monstrous tropes is one of the most effective ways to fight back.

The Center for Monster Studies at UCSC ( shows how monsters influence our social justice conversations for good or ill. Monster Studies brings together research in the Arts, Humanities, Social Sciences, and even the Sciences to bring to light monstrous tropes that permeate our society. Through the activity of the Center, students at UCSC come together with scholars, members of the public, and artists from around the world to share a passion for monsters and uncover all they represent. 

UCSC Students are passionate about monsters. The 2022 Festival hosted more than 300 students and members of the public who rubbed elbows with some of the leading lights of Monster Studies from across the United States. The festival’s student horror writing contest attracted entrants from across all disciplines at UCSC. Grad and undergrad classes on monster studies at UC Santa Cruz, from Monsters in Drama to Frankenstein’s Bodies to Harry Potter, are deeply popular. 

We need your support to keep our monstrous momentum going. The 2023 Festival of Monsters (Oct. 13-15) is poised to double our impact and exposure this year. Giving makes the following possible:

  • performances
  • public and academic conference panels
  • staged readings
  • Werewolf Hunters, Jungle Queens, and Space Commandos: The Lost Worlds of Women Comics Artists exhibit at the Santa Cruz Museum of Art and History
  • invited guests ranging from novelists to scholars to monster makers.

Every donation helps the Center bring panelists, artists, and students to the Festival and keeps it low cost for the public and free to UCSC students. It helps us fund opportunities for students to learn more about the world by learning to embrace what we fear the most.  

Our way
of Thanking You



Back it because you believe in monsters! Every dollar helps us make the 2023 Festival of Monsters accessible to all and keeps the Center for Monster Studies going.

2 of Unlimited Claimed
Estimated Delivery: June 2023



Every donation between $20 and $99 receives a vinyl sticker of Professor Frankenstein, reading in an armchair. This charming image was designed by a local Santa Cruz artist for the Center's Scholarween social media initiative.

7 of Unlimited Claimed
Estimated Delivery: June 2023



Every donation between $100 and $499 receives a mug featuring the poster from the 2022 Festival of Monsters. Original artwork by UCSC graduate Evie Chang strikes terror for your morning brew.

12 of Unlimited Claimed
Estimated Delivery: June 2023



Every donation between $500 and $999 receives a t-shirt featuring UCSC graduate Evie Chang's monstrous design for the 2022 Festival of Monsters. Please send your preferred size to

3 of Unlimited Claimed
Estimated Delivery: June 2023



Every donation of $1000 or more will receive our eternal, unearthly thanks plus an invitation to the opening VIP reception for the 2023 Festival (Oct. 13 at the Red Room) and a signed copy of Center Director Michael Chemers' book The Monster in Theatre History.

2 of Unlimited Claimed
Estimated Delivery: June 2023