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The New Research on Horror conference examines the current state of the genre

Hosted by the Department of Media, Film and Communication, 16-18 November 2016

Horror is currently experiencing a cultural renaissance across media, including film, television, comic books, videogames, music, and literature.

Despite this, most scholarship on horror remains confined within disciplinary limits. The conference will contest this by engaging with horror both within and across these media, bringing scholars into an interdisciplinary dialogue. We will look at horror as a transnational, transmedia, transhistorical phenomenon, but with a particular focus on contemporary iterations of the genre.

Areas of inquiry may include:

  • Why is horror so popular at this cultural moment? What permutations have risen in the new digital media environment, and what impact have these had on film, television, and literature?
  • What forms and conventions of horror predominate, and what are the most notable variations on them?
  • What economic strategies subtend current trends in horror? What social and cultural factors inform these trends, their genealogy, and their contemporary relevance?
  • What can new research into horror’s affects on its audiences tell us about the historical and contemporary appeal of horror to viewers?
  • How can we theorize the aesthetics of horror? How do the aesthetics of horror vary across media and across national boundaries and historical periods?
  • How can we map the shifting gender, racial, and class politics of horror?

An interdisciplinary conference

New Research on Horror is an interdisciplinary conference that will encompass a broad range of issues that will illuminate both the current state of the genre and the current state of research on the subject. In this way, it will not only engage with but also intervene in contemporary debates around this important cultural phenomenon.