Corpse, spectacle, illusion: the body as abject and object

Basil Glynn, Jeongmee Kim

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


In the case of CSI audiences have come to expect a body horror extravaganza and in most episodes they get one. Yet through a series of stylistic and aesthetic strategies such grisly images are not as disturbing as perhaps they should be. CSI has managed to make extreme imagery palatable to a mainstream audience rather than just a niche horror fan audience. This chapter suggests that the program has achieved this by undercutting the violent imagery it displays by advertising its artificiality so that audiences recognize and are constantly reminded of the fictional nature of what they are watching. The gore on display in CSI illustrates that audiences are not yet fully comfortable with “unrestricted” horror, but are happy to enjoy the fantasy of horror when it is clearly presented as such.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe CSI Effect
Subtitle of host publicationTelevision Crime and Governance
EditorsM Byers, V Johnson
Place of PublicationNew York
PublisherLexington Books
ISBN (Print)9780739124703
Publication statusPublished - 16 Aug 2009
Externally publishedYes


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