Women in Horror Films
A Psychoanalytic Investigation
Tuesdays 7:00 to 9:00 pm from 20 Feb -27 Mar 2018
The course will take place in the Education Room at Hackney Picturehouse
Lecturer: Mary Wild
Women in horror films occupy an ambivalent position, ranging from victims of violence to perpetrators of dread. Cinematic representations of female bodies in horror are paradoxically fragmented, decayed and impure as well as wholesome, nurturing and attractive. In this course we will explore the portrayal of women in horror films depicting female adolescence, identity and psychosis, as well as motifs relating to oppressive economic models, demonic possession and cannibalism.
We will investigate Julia Kristeva’s definition of horror as a breakdown in meaning caused by the loss of boundaries between self and other as well as other theoretical ideas such as Freud’s hysteria, Jacques Lacan’s jouissance, and R.D. Laing’s ontological insecurity. This is an introductory course and no prior knowledge of psychoanalysis will be assumed. Only an interest in studying film and its symbolism is required. Psychoanalytic terms will be taught in an inclusive, accessible and engaging way with the help of slide presentations and video montages.
Content warning: graphic imagery will be presented – you must be over the age of 18 to attend and viewer discretion is advised.
Week 1. Adolescence: Teeth (2007), Carrie (1976), The Exorcist (1973)
Week 2. Identity: Teeth (2007), Carrie (1976), The Exorcist (1973)
Week 3. Psychosis: Black Swan (2010), Whatever Happened to Baby Jane (1962), Rosemary’s Baby (1968)
Week 4. Economics: Starry Eyes (2014), The Hunger (1983), American Psycho (2000)