Poster or Presentation Title

Whore, Horror, and History: How Monstrous Women in Horror are Defined by the Monsters Before Them

Student Author Information

Mattox Cash, University of LynchburgFollow

Location

Virtual | Room 2

Access Type

Campus Access Only

Presentation Type

Oral Presentation

Start Date

7-4-2021 2:45 PM

End Date

7-4-2021 3:00 PM

Department

English

Abstract

Whore, Horror, and History looks at how the portrayal of women in the horror novels Carrie, Rosemary’s Baby, and The Haunting of Hill House impacts societal expectations of gender and furthers gender stereotypes. Specifically, it takes a look at how women often serve as horrific mothers in Horror and, consequently, are victimized by their womanhood. Moreover, Whore, Horror, and History looks at how generational traumas of womanhood and motherhood in the horror genre are passed down to daughters, perpetuating the cycle of monstrosities. It is important to assess how literature can impact the view of women and can shape how society interprets the role of women, particularly in high-pressure scenarios. The ways that popular literature can affect opinions and values, as well as how the portrayal of women in horrific literature reflects toxic maternal relationships, can provide insight into the role of literature in society and how it reflects and creates relationships between women. Furthermore, the progression of the genre’s portrayal of women is important to look at, as it could illustrate the empowerment of female horror characters throughout the years, as well as how portrayals still fall short. The research question, then, is how does popular horrific literature portray women, and how does that portrayal affirm or perpetuate stereotypes and expectations of women? Moreover, how does it reflect the generational traumas women experience and how do readers and authors sympathize with or criticize that trauma? The research in Whore, Horror, and History concludes that women in several popular horror novels are portrayed as terrorizing mother-figures and often play the victim role within the novel, due to their role as mother and as woman. These portrayals reflect past and present stereotypes of women, as well as the ways in which trauma can be passed down from woman to woman.

Faculty Mentor(s)

Dr. Beth Savage
Dr. Michael Robinson
Dr. Laura Kicklighter

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Apr 7th, 2:45 PM Apr 7th, 3:00 PM

Whore, Horror, and History: How Monstrous Women in Horror are Defined by the Monsters Before Them

Virtual | Room 2

Whore, Horror, and History looks at how the portrayal of women in the horror novels Carrie, Rosemary’s Baby, and The Haunting of Hill House impacts societal expectations of gender and furthers gender stereotypes. Specifically, it takes a look at how women often serve as horrific mothers in Horror and, consequently, are victimized by their womanhood. Moreover, Whore, Horror, and History looks at how generational traumas of womanhood and motherhood in the horror genre are passed down to daughters, perpetuating the cycle of monstrosities. It is important to assess how literature can impact the view of women and can shape how society interprets the role of women, particularly in high-pressure scenarios. The ways that popular literature can affect opinions and values, as well as how the portrayal of women in horrific literature reflects toxic maternal relationships, can provide insight into the role of literature in society and how it reflects and creates relationships between women. Furthermore, the progression of the genre’s portrayal of women is important to look at, as it could illustrate the empowerment of female horror characters throughout the years, as well as how portrayals still fall short. The research question, then, is how does popular horrific literature portray women, and how does that portrayal affirm or perpetuate stereotypes and expectations of women? Moreover, how does it reflect the generational traumas women experience and how do readers and authors sympathize with or criticize that trauma? The research in Whore, Horror, and History concludes that women in several popular horror novels are portrayed as terrorizing mother-figures and often play the victim role within the novel, due to their role as mother and as woman. These portrayals reflect past and present stereotypes of women, as well as the ways in which trauma can be passed down from woman to woman.