Mascot for #DevilDiss

Mascot for #DevilDiss
Mascot for #DevilDiss

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Defining My Research Focus in One CFP Proposal

A near perfect fit CFP came across my Twitter/Facebook feed this morning. As I wrote my proposal for it, I realized the proposal summed up my academic bent and interest perfectly.
So I'm posting it here:
Popular Culture as Folklore: The Intertextuality Matrix of Cabin in the Woods
Folklore is defined as “the traditional beliefs, legends, customs, etc., of a people; lore of a people”. For many scholars, folklore remains something that exists in the past.. However, an accurate analysis must consider what constitutes folklore in the modern world. I argue that popular culture has become modern day folklore. It contains legends, and archetypes that are recognizable across generations and social class. Popular culture is also reflective of the beliefs of a generation or group. Familiarity with current popular culture requires not only a knowledge of current trends and tropes, but also a working knowledge of past popular culture that is referenced within other other works, the lore. There is no better example of this than Whedon and Goddard’s 2012 film, Cabin in the Woods. In many ways, it is easiest to argue horror’s folkloric roots, than any other genre. Whedon and Goddard are clearly playing with horror as a genre in their film, but I argue that rather than just responding to current horror trends, or criticizing them, Whedon and Goddard are actually accomplishing much bigger work- they are creating new, and contributing to current, folklore. In his script, Whedon focus on folkloric archetypes such as the maid, warrior, fool, and the threat of old gods, while Goddard, in his execution of the script relies on the audience’s previous knowledge of specific horror films and tropes. When analyzed as a whole Cabin in the Woods can be analyzed both as inspired by, and contributing to folklore.

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