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Racial “Affliction”: (De)constructing Racial Formations through the Asian American Horror Film

  • Author(s): Chang, Stephanie H.
  • Advisor(s): Hong, Grace Kyungwon
  • et al.
Abstract

This project intends to analyze the 2013 vampire film Afflicted and the 2013 haunted house movie I am a Ghost in attempts to consider the role of temporality in constructing racial structures in Asian American horror films. My analysis of the racialized figures within the two films and the ways in which their bodies engage with the horror components within these films uncovers how Asian American subjects evoke fear, challenge normativity, and resist and reconfigure repressive, hegemonic structures, such as narrative and the imaginary of modern, homogenous time. Through the analysis of these two films and the techniques utilized that intentionally collapse temporal, spatial, and bodily boundaries, these films are significant in that they provide a site to deconstruct, expose, and link the (re)emergence of past and present Asian American racial formations. In other words, I argue that it is through such cultural sites like that of the horror film wherein which historical and contemporary methods of queering Asian Americans and production of monstrous and deviant Asian American subjects become temporally, spatially, and conceptually blurred.

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