" The Horrification of Queerness, the Queerification of Horror:
A Queer History of the Horror Film and its Contemporary Queer Form"
Kontaktadresse an der Universität Würzburg:
Lehrstuhl für Amerikanistik
Prof. Dr. Ralph Poole (Univ. Salzburg)
Klasse in der Graduiertenschule: "Philosophie, Sprachen, Künste"
Promotion in der Graduiertenschule ab WS 2021/2022.
Horror, whether it be a feeling or a genre, has been an asset of fiction for the longest time, yet undoubtedly, the audio-visual forms of the 20th century, chief among them cinema, have rendered monsters, murderers, and misfits a mainstay of entertainment in the cultural consciousness. Crucial in its construction, ever since the first monster movie hit the silver screen, has been the relation between horror and otherness, especially in regards to matters of gender and sexuality. Thus, those veering from society's heteronormative and patriarchal scripts have, time and time again, found themselves, whether literally or conceptually, reflected in supposedly terrifying elements of horror fiction.
My project seeks to trace both the shared history of the horror film and queer cultural production, as well as an ongoing interaction, a cross contamination of sorts; a horrification of queerness and queer culture, as well as a queerification of horror and the horror film. In this sense, the interaction between queerness and the horror genre has always been present, but both function and form of this interaction have been subject to change in response to the socio-cultural context and to genre conventions. Whereas early horror cinema heavily relied on queerness as a source of its horrifying effect, its later iterations' reliance on established formulas of the genre, working within a sort of poetics of the horror film, also opened up the possibility for, at times, playfully queer reconsiderations. Given this almost century long influence upon each other, the contemporary focal points become the formal aspects of these productions: queer art utilizing the framework of horror as a means of expression, as well as horror films utilizing queer thought as a means of horrifying.