We invite proposals for the first book-length collection that explores the confrontation between the human and the animal in horror, gothic and survival film. From Hitchcock’s The Birds (1963) via The Edge (1997) to Piranha 3D (2010), animal horror has charted the transformation of the domestic to the monstrous and uncanny, told stories of invasion and counter-invasion, collapsed and erected sexual and racial borders and explored the increasingly fraught relationship between human culture, human society and nature/Nature.
We are interested in contributions that explore animal horror films in the light of the ethics of the war on terror, ecological collapse, and biopolitics with an emphasis on sex, gender, race and post-/neo-/decolonial issues. In particular, we are interested in papers that address the following concerns:
• How can the understanding of animal horror be channelled through the perspectives of gender, feminist and queer studies? What forms of sexuality does the genre explore, encourage or disrupt?
• How does animal horror engage questions of terror and torture, especially in the “state of exception” that has followed in the wake of 9/11 and the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan?
• How does animal horror negotiate questions of race and ethnicity? How is race inscribed into animal horror films through portrayals of bodies, blood and the relation between human and animal worlds?
• How does animal horror explore, encourage or disturb discourses on ecology and environmental pollution? How can animal horror be understood in the light of the Anthropocene?
• Animal horror is often characterized by elements of comedy and humour. How does this complicate and subvert the conservative or progressive discourses that saturate the genre?
• How are animal horror films financed, how has the genre developed over time, and what is its relation to the entertainment industry and to the increasingly ubiquitous Military entertainment complex?
For purposes of limitation, this collection will deal only with actual (and possibly genetically enhanced) animals, but not with monsters, supernatural or mythological creatures. In other words, gigantic anacondas, sharks or crocodiles are fine, but werewolves, unicorns, Godzilla or space aliens fall outside the scope of the collection.
The editors are Johan Höglund, Katarina Gregersdotter and Nicklas Hållén. Johan Höglund (Linnaeus University) is author of The American Imperial Gothic: Popular Culture, Empire, Violence (forthcoming Ashgate, 2014), and co-editor of Transnational and Postcolonial Vampires: Dark Blood (Palgrave Macmillan, 2012). Nicklas Hållén (Linnaeus University and University of York) and Katarina Gregersdotter (Umeå University) are co-editors of the anthology Femininities and Masculinities in Action: Theory and Practice in a Moving Field (ID Press, 2012). Gregersdotter (Umeå University) is also co-editor of Rape in Stieg Larsson’s Millennium Trilogy and Beyond. Contemporary Scandinavian and Anglophone Crime Fiction (Palgrave, 2012)
Please send abstracts of no more than 400 words to Johan Höglund (firstname.lastname@example.org), Nicklas Hållén (email@example.com), and Katarina Gregersdotter (firstname.lastname@example.org) before the deadline Jan 30, 2014. Full articles will be due mid to late 2014.
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