GRECEM – “Selling Abjection: Female Vocalities in Horror Trailers”

7 février 2014, 9h, Salle Henri-Gagnon, Pavillon Louis-Jacques-Casault, Université Laval

Conférencier invité : James Deaville, Carleton University

James Deaville, Carleton University

James Deaville, Carleton University


The sonically fragmented narrative of the horror trailer has traditionally served as the site for the abjection of women not only through the physical and psychic violence inflicted upon them, but also through their hysterical and/or uncontrolled vocalities in face of terror. Julia Kristeva identifies the female-abject as that which “disturbs identity, system, order” (1982, 4), which in cinematic horror has (dis-)embodied itself in the limitless female scream (Claire Sisco King, 2006, 169). Michel Chion argues that the “screaming point” in narrative film requires “mastery of this scream” (Chion, 1999, 78); the sonic over-saturation in horror trailers exploits such moments through a condensed assemblage of these crafted aural “blackholes,” which tend to inhabit the final montage in a crescendo of the abject. In the promotional economy of cinematic paratexts, highlighting this type of vocality in horror—as compared with the stable voices of pre-victimized women narrating plot, the uncannily controlled voices of supernaturally endowed children, or the territorial “male shout” of threatened men—directly targets consumption by the male (aural) gaze (see, for example, the previews to You’re Next, The Pact, and Hostel).

Cette conférence est présentée dans le cadre du colloquium d’études supérieures de la Faculté de musique de l’Université Laval.

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