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Title: Logging into horror's closet : gay fans, the horror film and online culture
Author: Scales, Adam
ISNI:       0000 0004 5915 8136
Awarding Body: University of East Anglia
Current Institution: University of East Anglia
Date of Award: 2015
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Harry Benshoff has boldly proclaimed that ‘horror stories and monster movies, perhaps more than any other genre, actively invoke queer readings’ (1997, p. 6). For Benshoff, gay audiences have forged cultural identifications with the counter-hegemonic figure of the ‘monster queer’ who disrupts the heterosexual status quo. However, beyond identification with the monstrous outsider, there is at present little understanding of the interpretations that gay fans mobilise around different forms and features of horror and the cultural connections they establish with other horror fans online. In addressing this gap, this thesis employs a multi-sited netnographic method to study gay horror fandom. This holistic approach seeks to investigate spaces created by and for gay horror fans, in addition to their presence on a mainstream horror site and a gay online forum. In doing so, this study argues that gay fans forge deep emotional connections with horror that links particular textual features to the construction and articulation of their sexual and fannish identities. In developing the concept of ‘emotional capital’ that establishes intersubjective recognition between gay fans, this thesis argues that this capital is destabilised in much larger spaces of fandom where gay fans perform the successful ‘doing of being’ a horror fan (Hills, 2005). This, I argue, illustrates that gay horror fandom is constructed and performed differently across fan spaces as a means to articulate gay identity in culturally meaningful ways. In presenting the voices of gay fans, the significance of this thesis lies in challenging existing models of horror fandom by suggesting its multiplicity for the fans researched. Indeed, whilst the ‘knowledgeability’ (Hills, 2005) of horror fans is important, this study explores the meaningful connections that gay fans establish with one another and the cultural significance of horror to the identity work of fans across distinctive online spaces.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available