Access Type

Open Access Dissertation

Date of Award

January 2016

Degree Type


Degree Name




First Advisor

Chera Kee


In supernatural-themed American television programs that focus on hunting or exposing monsters and the monstrous, the human monster hunter’s representation and actions promote a conservative subtext. While horror scholarship prefers to examine the genre’s monsters and women, and regulate the hunter as simply being an expert, an exploration into the historical development of the figure reveals that there is a lot more to this character. The human monster hunter’s televisual depictions from the 1970s to today reveal a complex illustration that reifies the “American dream.” Time and time again, through the loss of an ideal middle-class experience, the human monster hunter chooses to step outside of the law – but still uses police and federal resources to better protect that experience for others. At the center of the televisual human monster hunter narrative is a unique embodiment of authoritative institutions, racial representation, male bonding, and female sexuality. Ultimately, this often-ignored figure functions well beyond the conventional roles of monster-pursuer and victim-savior, and thus provides an exceptional insight into race and gender issues within American culture.