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For our special JVC issue on the Design and Componentry of Horror, we're featuring the full audio of the interview conducted by Caetlin Benson-Allott with Noël Carroll. Since its publication 25 years ago – and despite controversy regarding some of its key claims – Noël Carroll’s The Philosophy of Horror: Or, Paradoxes of the Heart (1990) has led a renaissance in horror studies by paying close critical attention to the form and structure of scary movies. The Philosophy of Horror was one of the first academic monographs to attempt a theory of horror with its groundbreaking call for greater attention to negative affects in aesthetic experience. In this interview, Carroll reflects on horror studies since The Philosophy of Horror, historicizes some of his most controversial claims, and examines new developments in horror production, including horror film franchises and horror video games. For a transcription, see the interview in our latest issue.
A special post from Horror issue co-editors Caetlin Benson-Allott and Eugenie Brinkema:
This special issue was born of a critical desire—to analyze horror where and how it occurs—that runs counter to the modus operandi of horror studies for the past twenty-five years. As corrective to the generic trend in the study of horror, “The Design and Componentry of Horror” asks that we broaden our considerations of what texts may be taken as horrific, horrifying, or horrible. Specifically, it seeks to elevate the importance of notions of composition, structure, form, aesthetics, intertextuality, duration, intermediality and materiality for the study of horror. All the essays focus on horror as an affect in dialogue with, even determined by, form and style. Collectively, they propose ways to set aside the taxonomizing impulse of genre theory in favor of attending to affect and composition and generate new insights into how art makes us feel. Our contention is that studying horror as affect and aesthetic opens new avenues for thought by insisting that texts’ composition, structure, and form are not incidental to their affective charge but are indeed responsible for it. Thanks for reading. -CBA + EB
Check out abstracts here. -JVC