"Mother’s Not Herself Today”: Alternative Readings of the Monstrous Maternal in Horror Cinema

This talk will offer a historical overview of the horror film genre and the psychoanalytical, feminist, and cultural theories surrounding these films.
  • Amanda Greer, Film Studies
    Coach House, Green College, UBC
    Monday, October 31, 8-9 pm
    in the series
    Green College Resident Members' Series
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  • The horror film is positively pregnant with mothers, both good and evil, overbearing and absent, nurturing and ice cold. Since much of the discourse surrounding the horror genre is rooted in psychoanalysis, these figures are often read and theorized as monstrous harbingers of the abject. Rarely – if ever – have the mothers of horror cinema been examined for their progressive potential. This talk will offer a historical overview of the horror film genre and the psychoanalytical, feminist, and cultural theories surrounding these films. Once comfortably contextualized, we’ll journey together into the realm of speculation to explore whether an argument can be made for horror film as a productively political genre, using the Mother as an exemplar figure. Applying and mobilizing affect theory, this talk will read the maternal body as a site of transgressive, socially unsanctioned maternal affects, namely disgust, anxiety, and ambivalence. Looking at an array of films from The Exorcist (1973) to The Babadook (2014), Psycho (1960) to Inside (2007), Night of the Living Dead (1968) to We Need to Talk About Kevin (2011), we will trace how these affects move within and between objects, bodies, and film form itself to create a space of affective and affected discourse in which maternal figures can explore, critique, and reject pre-existing, naturalized models of mothering. In true Halloween spirit, we will de-fang the maternal monster.

    Warning: Many clips used will contain graphic images, but the talk itself will be full of Halloween fun.
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  • Unless otherwise noted, all of our lectures are free to attend and do not require registration.

 

When
October 31st, 2016 8:00 PM   through   9:00 PM
Location
Coach House
6201 Cecil Green Park Rd
Green College, UBC
Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z1
Canada
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Speaker Series Green College Resident Members' Series
Short Title "Mother’s Not Herself Today”
Speaker (new) Amanda Greer, Film Studies
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Speaker Last Name Greer
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