Transgressive Horror and Politics: The Splatterpunks and Extreme Horror

  • Aalya Ahmad


Transgressive horror shatters cultural norms with prolonged representations of desecration, agony, and abjection. Such fictions, along with their authors and fans, are often accused of deviance, if not sheer tastelessness. Through its very excesses, transgressive horror subverts the cultural distinctions governing taste itself by calling into question what is and is not acceptable to show. In raising this question, transgressive horror can powerfully expose and unsettle the normativity of dominant institutions and systems, thereby functioning as a form of oppositional politics. This chapter discusses the emergence of splatterpunk fiction and its most iconic figure, the zombie, in the 1980s, shadowing the rise of Ronald Reagan and the neoconservative religious right in the United States with politically subversive attacks on authoritarians, moral majoritarians, and religious hypocrites.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Aalya Ahmad
    • 1
  1. 1.Carleton UniversityGatineauCanada

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