From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia
In genre theory and narratology body genres refer to genres that have an effect on the spectator's body. These genres produce a physical effect, catching the body in the grip of an intense sensation or emotion, making the body display a physical reaction. The term was first brought forward by film scholar Carol Clover who included horror and pornography. Linda Williams expanded the definition to include melodrama. Jahsonic later included laughter to the definition.
The physical reactions in body genres are:
- comedy and humour: the physical reaction is laughter
- melodrama: the physical reaction is crying which produces tears, the genre is also called a "tearjerker".
- horror: the fear causes the physical reaction of trembling produced by adrenaline
- erotica and pornography: the physical reaction is sexual arousal, tumescence and orgasm
Similarly, in music there are mind and body genres as well. The example of a musical genre with a focus towards the body is dance music.