Online Workshop "The Decaying Female Body in Horror Cinema"

deadline for submissions: 
February 1, 2022
full name / name of organization: 
London Centre for Interdisciplinary Research
contact email: 

The horror genre in film follows from the literary tradition established by Edgar Allan Poe, Bram Stoker and Mary Shelley, eliciting physiological and psychological reactions through suspense, gore, the macabre and the supernatural. Horror films transfix and terrify audiences in equal measure, unfailingly achieving suspension of disbelief because fear is a universal emotion. The position occupied by female characters in horror cinema is often ambivalent, ranging from victims of violence to perpetrators of dread. Relying in part on Julia Kristeva's theory of abjection, we will investigate representations of decaying female bodies in cinema. Kristeva defines horror as a breakdown in meaning caused by the loss of boundaries between self and other. The abject disturbs identity, borders and rules – horror films portraying unclean and taboo elements of womanhood reveal the entwined dual system of Eros and Thanatos (disease, destruction, death). It is sometimes claimed that the portrayal of women in horror films is misogynistic, but here the proposition is that the horror genre affords us an indispensable language for approaching the complex dimensions of feminine subjectivity. Films to be discussed:Braindead (1992) dir. Peter JacksonContracted (2013) dir. Eric EnglandEat (2014) dir. Jimmy Weber

The workshop is designed and led by Mary Wild, the creator of the PROJECTIONS lecture series at Freud Museum London. Mary co-hosts the Projections Podcast, contributes to The Evolution of Horror Podcast, and creates exclusive content on Patreon.

All the registered participants who will attend the workshop will receive certificates.

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