Date of Award




Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Department of English

Content Description

1 online resource (iv, 55 pages)

Dissertation/Thesis Chair

Kir Kuiken

Committee Members

Edward Schwarzschild, Jil Hanifan


fiction, genre, horror, short story, Horror tales, American, Short stories, American

Subject Categories

Creative Writing | English Language and Literature


The horror genre is a broad umbrella under which a number of subgenres and subcategories fall. Skin and Other Stories is a collection of short fiction stories which take on the horror genre. These stories serve to explore, test, and defy the conventions of the horror genre, making use of its tropes and traditions in some instances, abandoning and rejecting them in others. The stories in this collection connect to a number of horror subgenres, including body horror and environmental horror, in an attempt to define and exemplify these categorizations. Furthermore, these stories make use of the horror genre as an effective catharsis for anxiety and fear. Fear plays a pivotal role within these tales – fear of illness, fear of nuclear disaster, and fear of our capacity for violence as humans among them. Anxieties within these stories represent anxiety about the future, about technology, and about the environment, anxieties meant to be identifiable by the reader to forge connections between the audience and the material. It is in this anxiety, in this attempt to identify with the reader, and in this exploration of fear that these stories find their energy.