This seminar will explore how contemporary horror films post–9/11 have transformed real terror into fictional horror that uses shock tactics to assault spectators through their bodies and their senses. The ultimate result produces a sensory and emotional intelligence that aims at social critique. Recent horror films like Dawn of the Dead (2004) and 28 Weeks Later (2007), and the television series The Walking Dead and Hannibal have returned to the hard-core critical approach that typified the first wave of contemporary horror in the late 1960-70s. This seminar will explore how these films and television shows have created a critical dialogue about themes of devastation, ethics, survivalism, politics and ideology; it will be argued that this dialogue relies on an aesthetics of disgust that demands a reaction from the spectator’s body.

About Angela Ndalianis

Angela Ndalianis is Research Professor in Media and Entertainment Studies at the Department of Media and Communication, Swinburne University of Technology, Australia. Her research focuses on entertainment culture (films, video games, television, comic books and theme parks) and the history of media technologies and how they mediate our experience of the world around us. Her publications include Neo-Baroque Aesthetics and Contemporary Entertainment (MIT Press 2004), Science Fiction Experiences (New Academia 2010), The Horror Sensorium. Media and the Senses (McFarland 2012) and the edited books The Contemporary Comic Book Superhero (editor, Routledge 2009), Neo-baroques: From Latin America to the Hollywood Blockbuster (Rodopi Press 2016 – co-edited), and Fans and Videogames: Histories, Fandom, Archives (Routledge, 2017 – co-edited). She has published numerous essays in refereed journals and anthologies, and is currently working on three books: Batman: Myth and Superhero; Robots and Entertainment Culture; and Experiencing Space: Sensory Encounters from Baroque Rome to Neo-Baroque Las Vegas – with Dr. Lisa Beaven (University of Melbourne).​