Telling an American Horror Story: Essays on History, Place and Identity in the Series
Edited by Cameron Williams Crawford and Leverett Butts
Telling an American Horror Story collects essays from new and established critics looking at the many ways the horror anthology series intersects with and comments on contemporary American social, political and popular culture. Divided into three sections, the chapters apply a cultural criticism framework to examine how the first eight seasons of AHS engage with American history, our contemporary ideologies and social policies.
Part I explores the historical context and the uniquely-American folklore that AHS evokes, from the Southern Gothic themes of Coven to connections between Apocalypseand anxieties of modern American youth. Part II contains interpretations of place and setting that mark the various seasons of the anthology. Finally, Part III examines how the series confronts notions of individual and social identity, like the portrayals of destructive leadership in Cult and lesbian representation in Asylum and Hotel.