Dissecting Girls: Exploring Feminine Identification in Contemporary Horror Television

PhD Thesis

Baker, C. 2023. Dissecting Girls: Exploring Feminine Identification in Contemporary Horror Television. PhD Thesis https://doi.org/10.48773/q0467
AuthorsBaker, C.
TypePhD Thesis
Qualification namePhd

This research considers how a recent cycle of contemporary serialised horror television narratives have positioned themselves to deliberately explore women’s representation and experiences on screen and appeal to women as audiences in terms of pleasure, appeal, and identification. A substantial percentage of the influential, scholarly work undertaken on women in horror and identification was mostly examined through film theory and assumptions of their cinematic representations (Clover, 1992; Cherry, 1999; Short, 2006; Giles, 2004; Grant, 1996; Halberstam, 1995; Hanke, 2002; Heit, 2011; Skal, 1993). While there is scholarship on horror television (Abbott and Jowett, 2013), interest in genre television, and fandom (Gwenllian-Jones and Pearson, 2004; Abbott, 2010); there is space for women’s representations in contemporary horror television to be developed further. Through considering the medium changes from film to television, it was acknowledged that the central aspects in terms of examining gendered identification included: the ‘intensity’ of identification (Cohen, 2001), the intertextual familiarity and subversion of horror’s treatment of women, and the wide range of representations of femininity that television series facilitated. A central finding was the concept that women’s identification which originated from potential spaces of emotionality and passiveness (Clover, 1987; 1992; Ellen Brown, 1993) had been restructured in terms of using this emotionality from an empowering stance. Due to the increased emotional immersion that the medium of television’s platform provides, there is far more depth to the characters that moves beyond their previous basic function to serve as active aggressor or passive, emotional victim.

KeywordsHorror, TV, women, identification
PublisherCollege of Arts, Humanities and Education, University of Derby
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.48773/q0467
File Access Level
Output statusUnpublished
Publication process dates
Deposited31 Aug 2023
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