Date of Award
CHARLES S COMBS
Body horror, or any sort of horror story detailing grotesque changes in one’s body, has long been considered unworthy of academic discussion and critique. It was not until recently that genres like body horror that fall into the realm of “low culture” have actually been studied seriously. The two stories in this collection enter into dialogue with modern genre, film, and gender studies in an attempt to comment on the current state of body horror and how its tropes function in modern storytelling. Focusing these stories on interpersonal relationships allows the horrors of the body to take front and center as well as commenting on the insecurities facing modern dating. A new level of intricacy is thus added to a genre known by and large for gross-out aesthetics and shock value. Rewrites, multiple drafts, as well as workshop groups all contributed to getting these pieces to where they are. Examinations of critical film essays as well as guidance from faculty constituted most of the research. Stories such as these push the boundaries of mainstream literary discussion while entering into direct dialogue with said boundaries. Body horror becomes a way to not only force extreme reactions from readers, but to comment on cultural nuances other genres don’t have the tools for.
Manta, Vincent, ""PEEL IT BACK SLOWLY" AND "ROLLING RIGHT ALONG": A COLLECTION OF BODY HORROR STORIES" (2020). Theses and Dissertations. 21.