Talking ‘Monstrum’ With Dr. Emily Zarka

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Fans of horror in pop culture are loving Monstrum, the latest offering from PBS Digital Studios. The short videos available on the official Monstrum YouTube channel provide a historical and cultural lens through which to review both contemporary and classical magical, mythical, and monstrous creatures. The videos feature Dr. Zarka narrating over beautifully rendered animation.

I recently had an opportunity to speak with Dr. Zarka about Monstrum and the influences that led her to academic study of classic monsters and developing that passion into the new series. The full audio of that interview can be heard in the online player below.

“I really credit, actually, my mom for sort of getting me on the ‘horror train.’ She, actually, was the one who introduced me to the SyFy channel and, you know, all of those terrible ‘B’ horror movies. From there, it just sort of spiraled.”

The first two episodes of Monstrum are published on the series’s YouTube channel. The third episode will be published tomorrow (Wednesday, May 8). New episodes in the 16-episode first season are published every two weeks.

Have you been watching Monstrum? Let us know what you think of the series in the comments below. What creature would you want to see profiled on an upcoming episode?


About Monstrum

Emily Zarka, Ph.D. (Victorian literature, gothic literature, horror, folklore), is a Faculty Associate at Arizona State University and holds a Ph.D. in British Romantic Literature with an emphasis on the Gothic. As host of Monstrum, Dr. Zarka explains how society’s fear of the unknown has lead to a culture obsessed with all things scary. Her research explores the roles of desire and knowledge dissemination in portrayals of undead characters produced during the late 18th and early 19th centuries. Zarka received her Ph.D. in literature from Arizona State University and graduated magna cum laude from the University of Colorado with both Bachelor of Arts, English, and Bachelor of Science, Journalism, degrees.

About PBS Digital Studios

PBS Digital Studios produces original, digital programming for YouTube and Facebook Watch, designed to engage, enlighten, and entertain online audiences. The PBS Digital Studios network has more than 17 million subscribers, generating an average of 40 million views a month and has acquired nearly two billion views lifetime views. Currently, the Studio has 18 original series streaming online, including eight series from PBS member stations. Series include the Webby Award-winning It’s Okay to Be Smart, Physics Girl, and Crash Course, as well as popular series such as Two Cents and PBS Space Time.

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160 episodes available. A new episode about every 3 days averaging 43 mins duration .