Horror Studies between Humanistic Interdisciplinarity and Scientific Consilience

A Conversation with Darryl Jones and Mathias Clasen

Authors

  • Leonardo Ambasciano Managing Editor, Journal of Cognitive Historiography
  • Mathias Clasen Aarhus University
  • Darryl Jones Trinity College Dublin

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.1558/jch.39465

Keywords:

Biocultural Approach, Horror Studies, Humanities, Literary Studies

Abstract

The present thought-provoking conversation engages two accomplished scholars of horror, Darryl Jones and Mathias Clasen, on the multimedia history of horror through their disciplinary viewpoints, respectively, literary studies and the cognitive sciences. Following the publication of their most recent books on the topic (Jones 2018; Clasen 2017), the main theme discussed herein is the possibility of creating an interdisciplinary bridge, and, possibly, developing a cross-disciplinary integration between different scholarly strategies. Other themes considered include: consilience and coexistence between humanistic and scientific approaches; potential intradisciplinary issues around the establishment of an interdisciplinary dialogue; the differential heuristic gains of qualitative analyses through different disciplinary toolboxes; the existence of a bewildering historical array of theories explaining the appeal of horror as a genre and a collection of tropes; the thematic interconnection between horror and religion. The conversation also includes a series of artistic and scholarly suggestions to further explore the topics debated.

Author Biographies

Leonardo Ambasciano, Managing Editor, Journal of Cognitive Historiography

Leonardo Ambasciano earned his PhD in Historical Studies at the University of Turin, Italy, in 2014 with a cognitive and evolutionary analysis of the ancient Roman female cult of Bona Dea. In 2016, he was Visiting Lecturer in Religious Studies at Masaryk University, Brno, Czech Republic. He is the author of An Unnatural History of Religion: Academia, Post-Truth, and the Quest for Scientific Knowledge (Bloomsbury, 2019), and of various book reviews, chapters, and articles, the most recent of which is “History as a Canceled Problem? Hilbert Lists, du Bois-Reymond’s Enigmas, and the Scientific Study of Religion”, co-authored with T. J. Coleman III and published in Journal of the American Academy of Religion 87(2), 2019: 366–400.

Mathias Clasen, Aarhus University

Mathias Clasen is Associate Professor of Literature and Media in the English Department at Aarhus University, Denmark. His research focuses on frightening entertainment across media. He has published in humanities and social science journals and is currently leading a collaborative empirical research project on recreational fear. He is associate editor of the journal Evolutionary Studies in Imaginative Culture.

Darryl Jones, Trinity College Dublin

Darryl Jones is Professor of English at Trinity College Dublin, where he works on 19th-century literature and popular literature. His most recent book is Sleeping with the Lights On: The Unsettling Story of Horror (Oxford University Press, 2018). He is currently writing a biography of M. R. James for Oxford University Press, and is General Editor of the forthcoming New Oxford Sherlock Holmes, for which he is editing The Hound of the Baskervilles. His next large-scale project will be a monograph on the Irish time-travel theorist J. W. Dunne.

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Published

2020-11-06

How to Cite

Ambasciano, L., Clasen, M., & Jones, D. (2020). Horror Studies between Humanistic Interdisciplinarity and Scientific Consilience: A Conversation with Darryl Jones and Mathias Clasen. Journal of Cognitive Historiography, 5(1-2), 159–179. https://doi.org/10.1558/jch.39465

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Conversation