Horror and the uncanny in South Asian literatures and film
Angelika Malinar (University of Zurich, Switzerland)
Hans Harder (SAI Heidelberg, Germany)
Start time:
25 July, 2014 at 9:00
Session slots:

Short abstract:

The panel addresses the strong presence of horror themes and images in South Asian literatures and film in dealing with modes of depiction, styles of production, historical-cultural contexts and theoretical approaches etc.

Long abstract:

Depictions and evocations of horror and the horrific have a long legacy ever since the inclusion of "the terrible" in lists of motives and effects in Sanskrit aesthetics or the depiction of the horrors caused by borderline figures, such as vampires in the Sanskrit Vetalapanchavimshati. Recent film and literature productions demonstrate that horrors have also a persistent and massive presence in various South Asian milieus (for instance, the current wave of light horror TV serials mainly in Hindi). Horror strikes but occasionally in the works of canonical modern authors such as Tagore or Premchand. Much more systematic uses of these motives, however, can be found in less than canonical genres, often seen as pulp or grey literature, in many subcontinental literatures and films. All these productions and their configurations of horror(s) have not received much attention in South Asian literary and film studies. In an attempt to survey this production our panel invites papers that relate to 20th and 21st century horror fiction and films, and particularly trace their position between transmutations of traditional horror motifs and the international horror industry. The broad analysis of the horrors depicted in these productions shall also invite discussions of what could be regarded "the uncanny" in South Asia.