The horror of sexual violence: The representations of rape in American horror story

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Publication Type honors thesis
School or College College of Fine Arts
Department Art/Art History
Faculty Mentor Lela Graybill
Creator Myrick, Trevor
Title The horror of sexual violence: The representations of rape in American horror story
Year graduated 2014
Date 2014-05
Description This thesis looks at the representation of rape in American Horror Story, considering its formal and narrative construction alongside critical responses, drawing attention to both innovative and stereotypical aspects of its function within the series. While the series generally revels in representing explicitly violent and abject topics through fantasy and the employment of various horror elements, it also incorporates representations of rape with remarkable frequency. In its first three seasons, the series integrated rape narratives a whopping eleven times within 38 episodes, with each new episode of American Horror Story thus having a nearly 29% chance of representing rape or sexual assault in some way. The pervasiveness of rape in American Horror Story is undeniable, yet little to no critical discourse examines its continual use and subsequent impact on conversations surrounding rape culture. While other popular and current television series' singular inclusions of rape narratives-such as Downton Abbey, Scandal, Mad Men, etc.-have been widely discussed by critics and fans alike, the representation of rape in American Horror Story remains largely unnoted. Through an analysis of the formal qualities of the exemplary rape scene of Madison Montgomery (Emma Roberts) in the first episode of season 3, "Bitchcraft," this thesis demonstrates how scenes of sexual violence against women in American Horror Story are visually implicit while remaining impactful and unsettling, situating critical responses of this scene and American Horror Story in general within broad postfeminist discourses surrounding representations of rape.
Type Text
Publisher University of Utah
Subject Art/Art History
Language eng
Rights Management (c) Trevor Myrick
Format Medium application/pdf
Format Extent 250,729 bytes
Permissions Reference URL
ARK ark:/87278/s6cv7t1k
Setname ir_htoa
Date Created 2016-11-08
Date Modified 2019-07-10
ID 205909
Reference URL
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