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Modernity's enchanting shadow: The Hall of Fantasy, horror programmes and US post-war radio

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Abstract:

This article offers a cultural history of the post-war horror radio anthology series The Hall of Fantasy (19471953). It unearths the particular significances of the series as a species of horror radio, and contributes to and refines our understanding of post-war radio. I argue that The Hall of Fantasy is formally innovative in its expressionistic use of the radio medium to heighten listeners' emotional involvement with the drama. And the series is culturally rich as it mines post-war modernity for thematic resources that resonate with audiences' anxieties. The Hall of Fantasy constructs a shadow of post-war modernity that suggests the cultural potency of enchantment.

Keywords: The Hall of Fantasy; US post-war radio; cultural history of radio; horror radio programmes; radio drama

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1386/host.1.2.177_1

Affiliations: University of Southern Maine.

Publication date: 2010-11-01

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  • Horror Studies intends to serve the international academic community in the humanities and specifically those scholars interested in horror. Exclusively examining horror, this journal will provide interested professionals with an opportunity to read outstanding scholarship from a variety of disciplinary perspectives, including work conceived as interdisciplinary. By expanding the conversation to include specialists concerned with diverse historical periods, varied geography, and a wide variety of expressive media, this journal will inform and stimulate anyone interested in a wider and deeper understanding of horror
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