Becoming: Genre, Queerness, and Transformation in NBC’s Hannibal (Paperback)

Becoming: Genre, Queerness, and Transformation in NBC’s Hannibal (Paperback)

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The NBC series Hannibal has garnered both critical and fan acclaim for its cinematic qualities, its complex characters, and its innovative reworking of Thomas Harris’s mythology so well-known from Jonathan Demme’s Silence of the Lambs (1991) and its variants. The series concluded late in 2015 after three seasons, despite widespread fan support for its continuation. While there is a healthy body of scholarship on Harris’s novels and Demme’s film adaptation, little critical attention has been paid to this newest iteration of the character and narrative.

Hannibal builds on the serial killer narratives of popular procedurals, while taking them in a drastically different direction. Like critically acclaimed series such as Breaking Bad and The Sopranos, it makes its viewers complicit in the actions of a deeply problematic individual and, in the case of Hannibal, forces them to confront that complicity through the character of FBI profiler Will Graham.

The essays in Becoming explore these questions of authorship and audience response as well as the show’s themes of horror, gore, cannibalism, queerness, and transformation. Contributors also address Hannibal’s distinctive visual, auditory, and narrative style. Concluding with a compelling interview with series writer Nick Antosca, this volume will both entertain and educate scholars and fans of Hannibal and its many iterations.


A varied and exciting collection that will be of interest and importance to many scholars in TV/media studies and cultural studies. Given that the collection features several chapters that focus on the adaptation of books, television, and movie versions of Hannibal, it will also be of value to literary scholars, film scholars, and those with a particular interest in adaptation. (Rebecca Williams, University of South Wales)

An excellent book and provides a strong academic background to the study of Hannibal in its various manifestations. It was so good, I just ate it up. (Paul Booth, DePaul University)

Becoming brings together an impressive range of perspectives about how Hannibal queered its source material to craft deliciously perverse narratives, genres, characters, practices, and critiques of institutional discourses―all this in ways that were progressive, ingenious, and affecting. (Allison McCracken, associate professor of American Studies, DePaul University)

Filled with forensic connoisseurship, this collection is one to be savored. Kavita Mudan Finn and EJ Nielsen have assembled a fine roster of contributors, including production staff from the show. (Matt Hills, author of Fan Cultures)
  • Publisher : Syracuse University Press (August 6, 2019)
  • Language: : English
  • Item Weight : 1.25 pounds
  • Dimensions : 6 x 0.8 x 9 inches