The (American) Gothic and Jordan Peele's Get Out: An Affective Exploration
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This essay functions as a Gothic-and race-based reader-response (or in this case “viewer-response”) analysis of Jordan Peele’s 2017 film Get Out . Throughout this essay, I — like critics before me — contend that (and convey how) Peele, through his creation of Get Out , effectively and aesthetically presents and projects his experience as a black American to and onto viewers. However, while Get Out has commonly been considered a horror film, I align it more specifically with the (American) Gothic tradition. I understand Gothic — as it has been employed by black artists — to be a genre that provokes particularly powerful passions, hinges on historicity and haunting, and — with proper audience intervention — has a particular potential to be personally and politically productive. This understanding of the Gothic is informed most notably by Teresa A. Goddu’s and Jason Haslam’s conceptions of the tradition in their respective works. My viewer-response framework relies heavily on contentions made by Rita Felski and Fred Moten in their respective works.
African Americans in the motion picture industry
Gothic fiction (Literary genre)
Horror films--History and criticism