The Monstrous-Feminine: Film, Feminism, Psychoanalysis (Popular Fictions Series)

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The Monstrous-Feminine: Film, Feminism, Psychoanalysis (Popular Fictions Series)

The Monstrous-Feminine: Film, Feminism, Psychoanalysis (Popular Fictions Series)

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Creed examples that in examples where the monster is clearly defined as male, its status as male identifies it with a lack, and hence defines it as feminized. Creed argues that a woman's deep connection to natural events such as reproduction and birth is considered ‘quintessentially grotesque’. Julia Kristeva is one of Creed's major feminist influencers, as she studied Kristeva in great depth, particularly with her examination of the abject.

She has taught at the University of Cambridge, UCL, Birkbeck and the University of London, and her work explores fairy tales, horror and collective storytelling.

Throughout the book, Creed observes how women are positioned as victims within the horror film genre, and challenges this overriding patriarchal and one-dimensional understanding of women. Creed challenges this masculine viewpoint by arguing that when the feminine is fabricated as monstrous, it is commonly achieved through association with [female] reproductive bodily functions, or through matriarchal traits and tasks. Near the beginning of the book, she scolds the patriarchy for believing that there is no Monstrous Feminine. This book is sometimes hard to read, and the concepts of psychoanlaysis that she draws on are often dubious. The Monstrous Feminine - an online day course with Dr Elizabeth Dearnley and Dr Katharine Fry takes place on the 11th of March.

Creed examines Freud's psychoanalytic theory of sexual difference, and the marking of female sexuality as dangerous, as Freud believed women had vagina dentata and that they were castrators of men. Creed first considers women as Vampires in such films as Dracula (1992) and The Hunger (1983), wherein she discusses the image of the ‘archaic mother’ with the female vampire being ‘mother’ and her lover or victim as ‘child’ whom she promises eternal life to.

In the first edition, Creed draws on Julia Kristeva’s theory of abjection to challenge the popular view that women in horror are almost always victims, and argues that patriarchal ideology constructs women as monstrous in relation to her sexuality and reproductive body to justify her subjugation. According to Kristeva, abjection is the failure to distinguish what constitutes as "self", and what is "other". In this new edition Creed expands and updates the filmography to include horror films created by women to augment the ways in which the monstrous-feminine functions deliciously as patriarchy’s retribution. Creed's work using the psychoanalysis framework validates its usefulness in the feminist film theory field. Twenty-first Century feminist horror, Creed shows, introduces a series of startling tropes: the metamorphizing adolescent girl, the female zombie, and the creatrix.

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