Graduiertenschule für die Geisteswissenschaften

Hellmuth, Lukas

" 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
Am Hubland
97074 Würzburg

E-Mail an Herrn Hellmuth


Prof. Dr. Snyder-Körber


Prof. Dr. Catrin Gersdorf

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.