The Pop Culture Lens: Episode 3 – Carnival of Souls (1962)

The Pop Culture Lens is a scholarly podcast hosted by myself and Dr. CarrieLynn Reinhard of Dominican University. In each episode, we seek to offer fresh perspectives on past media as we attempt to determine whether or not it holds any relevance to the contemporary sociocultural experience. We structure the podcast so the format loosely resembles an academic paper, but we present the information in a way that everyone can understand.

In the latest episode of the Pop Culture Lens, we discuss the cult classic Carnival of Souls (1962, dir. Herk Harvey) with our guest Patrick Ripoll, co-host and co-creator of The Director’s Club podcast (on which I once appeared as a guest). We apply a feminist reading of the film, and talk about how the horror genre in general functions as a reflection of prevailing sociocultural tensions at different points throughout history. In addition, we talk about how Mikhail Bakhtin‘s notion of carnival can be applied to the plight of lead character Mary Henry (Candace Hilligoss), and how the concept of feminism can be read as a manifestation of Barbara Creed‘s conception of the monstrous-feminine. Along the way, we touch on a number of other films, including The Exorcist, Carrie, Splice, and The Babadook (among others).

You can listen to the full episode below, or you can download it by visiting our Podbean site. If you like what you hear, you should consider following The Pop Culture Lens Podcast on Tumblr, Twitter, and Facebook so you never miss an episode.

We’re always looking for ideas for new episodes, and for guests who can come on and chat about the media with us. Therefore, if you have any ideas for future topics and/or guests, or would even like to talk about some aspect of popular culture with us, please let us know! Anyway, we hope you enjoy this episode of The Pop Culture Lens, and, as always, thanks for reading (or listening, in this case).

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