£15

Politics and Horror Conference

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£15

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A two-day online conference exploring the many intersections of horror and politics.

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Since the inception of Gothic Studies, scholars have noted the intersection between modes of horror storytelling and real-world political movements. Some, such as Johan Höglund, have argued that horror imagery has been used to reinforce existing hegemonic power structures. Others, such as Maisha Wester, have argued that the Gothic, while potentially a conservative discourse, is also able to offer commentary that can deconstruct and critique these same formations of power. In a related vein, the Warwick Research Collective has recently argued that the Gothic can be seen as a protocritical response to historical shifts in the capitalist mode of production. These debates regarding the effect and affect of horror upon political consciousness continue beyond literature and film studies circles to historical and contemporary conversations regarding political commentary, rhetoric, and policy the world over. Consider, for example, President Ronald Reagan’s ‘Evil Empire’ speech demonizing the then-Soviet Union, the emerging currency of the term “Brexit Gothic” to describe the contemporary British socio-political climate, or the rise of “Black Horror” to describe texts such as Jordan Peele’s Get Out (2017)and their resonance with real-world experiences of ongoing discriminatory violence.

In order to explore the interdisciplinary overlaps and contradictions surrounding the topic of horror and politics, we will be hosting a two-day interdisciplinary conference focused on the role of horror and fear tactics in political commentary, political policy, and in film, literature, video games, comics, web series, and other media that demonstrate a clear connection to political sensibilities using horror imagery or affect.

Tickets give attendees access to the conference's Slack page, links to all the virtual presentations, and access to recordings of selected presentations via a private YouTube.

KEYNOTES: Dr Rebecca Duncan, Dr Darren Elliott-Smith

EARLY CAREER RESEARCHER AND POSTGRADUATE ROUNDTABLE: TBA

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