Lecturer: Kellye McBride
Facilitator bio: http://peoplescolloquium.org/teacher-bios/
In recent years, special attention has been paid to how horror narratives address feminist concerns of violence against women, body dysmorphia, and gender roles in both positive and negative ways. Many scholars have weighed in on whether horror films are fundamentally positive or negative in their portrayals of women, and whether this has changed in light of contemporary approaches to horror. This lecture aims to address feminist criticisms of the horror film and problematize notions of gender specifically within horror films, by answering questions such as: Is horror good for women? Are horror films what Laura Mulvey calls negative depictions of the male gaze where women are vivisected painfully onscreen, catering to a fundamentally white male audience? Or is the genre simply more nuanced than that, in light of recent statistics that show that women make up the majority of horror audiences? Does horror include the potential for addressing powerful female archetypes that have been traditionally subverted in our culture, including witches, vampires, and succubi? This lecture explores and problematizes portrayals of femininity in the horror film and seeks to question the notion that horror narratives specifically contain gender-coded violence.