Serious Horror

Academically, horror has historically had a difficult time.  It’s one of those genres that people have already made up their minds about (even academics), and therefore nobody talks about this Bruno.  Nevertheless it’s still there and it has a tremendous impact on our culture.  Who hasn’t at least heard about Jaws or The Exorcist?  Some of us are renegades with little to lose, and have taken to subjecting horror to academic study.  So I was delighted to find the recently launched website HorrorLex.  Check it out.  I have no idea who Lupe Lex is, but s/he has a clever website that I’ve only begun to explore.  It lists academic works on horror and is a great resource for those who wonder why professors so seldom talk about it.  They do, and here’s proof.

The website has an alphabetical index of horror movies that will take you to a remarkably full bibliography of sources on any particular film.  If you’ve got grad students working in this area this is a resource they should know about.  It’s an example of what can be done to grow knowledge without a paywall.  Publishers, who have to make money off everything, often give bibliographic aids to those who subscribe.  On HorrorLex, you can simply take a look and find a whole swarm of information.  If you’re like me, it may also be a place where you’ll start to feel a little less alone.  As an editor I’ve been open to academic books on horror and as an editor you’re always pleased to find websites where those books will be made known.

At least half of the research journey is discovering what’s already been published on a subject.  One of the things I’ve missed most about academia is access to bibliographic databases.  Trying to build a bibliography from an individual account on JSTOR and searches on Amazon is somewhat hit-or-miss.  A focused source like this is a real service, especially if it’s shared widely.  You can share this post, or you can use your own means to get the word out, but please do it, no matter how.  This is a real service that’s being offered and the website is attractive and cleverly designed.  I know that I’ve learned quite a bit from my somewhat brief (being a working stiff) visits to the site.  If you’re researching a horror film, this is a resource you shouldn’t overlook.  Go ahead, you can always trust a werewolf!

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