Proposal Title

Consumption as Agency: An Exploration of the Feminine Grotesque

Start Date

June 2022

End Date

June 2022

Abstract

Consumption as Agency: An Exploration of the Feminine Grotesque

In the genre of horror, the feminine body is used as a tool of consumption, usually via the audience consuming the media or as the objectified body in the film itself. The genre of the feminine grotesque works to refute this stereotype, typically through a subversion of horror media standards. The feminine grotesque aims to show women in body horror scenarios consuming in ways that are typically viewed as “unacceptable,” allowing them to deviate from what is typically expected from the genre. This paper will work to assess the decisions made in terms of the linguistics, narratology, and mise-en-scene of the feminine grotesque, and will use examples from Julia Ducournau’s Raw, Diablo Cody’s Jennifer’s Body, Carlo Mirabella-Davis’ Swallow, and Nicolas Winding Refn’s The Neon Demon. By focusing on a threefold approach to the destabilization of the body genre, the feminine grotesque allows women characters to engage in more horrific forms of consumption while evading the trope of violence as revenge. This paper will dissect the ways that the autonomous feminist body unsettles the notion of consumption while remaining a wholly woman’s text.

Keywords: film studies, body horror, feminist studies, queer theory, poststructuralism

Bio

Carina Stopenski (they/them) is an information sciences professional, creative writer, and educator. Currently an MA student in Literary and Cultural Studies at Carnegie Mellon University, Carina received their BFA in Creative Writing from Chatham University in 2018, where they also obtained a Gender Studies minor. Following completion of their BFA, they went on to receive their MSLS in Library Science with a Reference Services certificate from Clarion University of Pennsylvania. Some of Carina’s research interests include animation, horror media, narratology, and video game studies

Emma Johnson (she/her) graduated with a BA in English and Film and Media Studies from the University of California, Santa Barbara in 2020 and is currently pursuing her PhD in Literary and Cultural Studies from Carnegie Mellon University. Her research is largely situated in the intersection between literature and film, as she is interested in the connections between the written word and the visual. In particular, she has written substantially on the dialectic between city and suburbs and, more broadly, American popular culture.

Stephanie Ramser (she/her) graduated from Chatham University in 2017, where she obtained a BFA in Creative Writing. A lifelong lover of language, Stephanie's research interests intersect in the world of language acquisition and linguistics, as well as the cultural value that language and communication hold in the contemporary world.

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Jun 25th, 1:00 PM Jun 25th, 2:30 PM

Consumption as Agency: An Exploration of the Feminine Grotesque

Consumption as Agency: An Exploration of the Feminine Grotesque

In the genre of horror, the feminine body is used as a tool of consumption, usually via the audience consuming the media or as the objectified body in the film itself. The genre of the feminine grotesque works to refute this stereotype, typically through a subversion of horror media standards. The feminine grotesque aims to show women in body horror scenarios consuming in ways that are typically viewed as “unacceptable,” allowing them to deviate from what is typically expected from the genre. This paper will work to assess the decisions made in terms of the linguistics, narratology, and mise-en-scene of the feminine grotesque, and will use examples from Julia Ducournau’s Raw, Diablo Cody’s Jennifer’s Body, Carlo Mirabella-Davis’ Swallow, and Nicolas Winding Refn’s The Neon Demon. By focusing on a threefold approach to the destabilization of the body genre, the feminine grotesque allows women characters to engage in more horrific forms of consumption while evading the trope of violence as revenge. This paper will dissect the ways that the autonomous feminist body unsettles the notion of consumption while remaining a wholly woman’s text.

Keywords: film studies, body horror, feminist studies, queer theory, poststructuralism