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Juridically minded, justifiably frightened : academic legitimacy and the suspension of horror

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Juridically minded, justifiably frightened : academic legitimacy and the suspension of horror

Langdon, Graeme (2010) Juridically minded, justifiably frightened : academic legitimacy and the suspension of horror. Masters thesis, Concordia University.

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Abstract

As any reader of scholarly writing on the horror film knows, study of the genre tends to begin with tactful apologies and explicit declarations of the genre's academic legitimacy. Rhetorical maneuvers of this sort seem intended to reclaim horror from its law-fearing critics and its dubious status before the law. Yet, they betray a certain complicity between the academy and the law because they concede that something essential to the genre requires justification. In this thesis, I read Film Studies' general inability to analyze the horror film without recourse to such supplementary acts of justification through Giorgio Agamben's analysis of the aporetic structure of Western sovereignty (I998). According to Agamben, the force of law resides in its capacity to maintain itself in relation to an exteriority (18)." As I hypothesize, the academic justification of horror corroborates the marginality of the genre and affirms the sovereign soundness of interpretive thought in the face of an uninterpretable limit. This limit is the unreadable immediacy of horror's violence (its affect, or, appeal to the bare life of its audience), and like the homo sacer of Agamben's analysis, it is included in the form of its exclusion. The academic justification of horror admits something dubious about the genre, but suspends it beyond contemplation

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Fine Arts > Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema
Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Authors:Langdon, Graeme
Pagination:v, 86 leaves ; 29 cm.
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:M.A.
Program:Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema
Date:2010
Thesis Supervisor(s):Manning, Erin
ID Code:979270
Deposited By: Concordia University Library
Deposited On:09 Dec 2014 17:56
Last Modified:18 Jan 2018 17:48
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