Learning Spirits: Spectral Pedagogy and Vegan Horror

Rick Kelley


This paper examines “the figure of the animal” in horror cinema, and in particular the ways its deployment reveals deep anxieties about our treatment of nonhumans more generally. A specifically vegan horror, as opposed to the categories of animal horror cinema and eco-horror, is proposed: a genre tendency that presents narratives that destabilize distinctions between “man” and “beast” while enacting modes of seeing that allow for the possibility of radical kinship. Finally, through a close reading of The Texas Chan Saw Massacre as a pivotal text, this paper argues that vegan horror can disturb fields of vision in ways that teach us to see others not as means to instrumental ends but instead as a multiplicity of interests and desires.  


vegan horror, animal rights, critical film studies, cinema, politics of sight

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