Aural Chills and Sounds of Terror: Podcasting Horror
Edited by Laura Álvarez Trigo (Universidad de Valladolid) and Anna Marta Marini (Universidad de Alcalá)
During the last decade, podcast shows have turned into a highly-consumed medium with its own characteristic aesthetics and market strategies emerging from, albeit still different, from those of radio broadcasting (Sellas and Solà 2019). Many podcast shows of all kinds—from fictional narratives to interviews, as well as monologues and investigative programs—were launched independently. This fostered the focus on niche target audiences and communities, among which, the horror and thriller genre fans stood out. As the podcast industry grew, budgets increased, fostering high-quality production, and better productive standards, alongside experimentation with genres, aesthetic strategies and modes of storytelling (Spinelli and Dann 2019).
There is a wide variety of horror podcasts in terms of style, form and content that use “novel means” in order to “create fresh, unique and potent horror forms” (Hancock and McMurtry 2017). Horror podcasts are the ideal products to examine how the aural plane contributes to the configuration of horror through abject sound effects, uncanny storytelling techniques, and chilling silences, defining the sounds of fear. Beyond the script and the narration, the music and sound effects are fundamental to elicit uncanny feelings and magnify terror, making the shows a most relevant medium for the horror genre. These podcasts necessarily build the aural space of the text intertwining the peculiarities of the medium and storytelling to heighten the sense of horror.
The proposed edited collection will contribute to enriching both the fields of podcast and horror studies—considering the evolution of the genre, current developments and critical features and perspectives that emerge from the combination of podcasting and horror. Our aim is to examine the current challenges, opportunities and trends within the genre that have been shaped in the 21st century by and for the aural medium. The key question that the volume will revolve around is how podcast shows from all over the world are contributing to horror tradition(s) and culture(s), taking part in the transformation of both the medium and the genre while, at the same time, fostering their persistence.
Therefore, we welcome proposals that analyze fictional horror podcasts as well as those that discuss the horror genre. Topics may include but are not limited to the following:
· The history of aural horror narratives, from broadcasting to podcasting
· Music in fictional horror podcasts
· Horror in digital radio and audio media
· Audience involvement in fictional horror podcasts/podcasts about horror
· Development of the horror genre throughout the history of podcast
· Discussion about contemporary horror cinema in podcast format
· Technical aspects related to aural elements in horror podcast shows
· Global horror and podcasting forms from all around the world
· The use of aural horror signifiers to create suspense in not-strictly-horror podcasts
· Storytelling and narrative devices inherent to horror audio media
Deadline for abstract proposals: November 30th, 2023
Please, email your abstract to email@example.com. All submissions must include an abstract (300–400 words), keywords, and a short bioblurb describing your research interests and pertinent publications.
Acceptance will be communicated by December 31st, 2023 and full chapters will be due by July 15th, 2024.
Hancock, D., & McMurtry, L. (2017). “Cycles upon cycles, stories upon stories: contemporary audio media and podcast horror’s new frights”. Palgrave Communications, 3(1), 1-8.
Sellas, T., & Bonet, M. (2023). “Independent podcast networks in Spain: A grassroots cultural production facing cultural industry practices”. Convergence, 29(4), 801–817.
Spinelli, M., & Dann, L. (2019). Podcasting: The audio media revolution. Bloomsbury Publishing USA.
Laura Álvarez Trigo (UVA) and Anna Marta Marini (UAH)