Get Out at the Gulbenkian

Dr Frances A. Kamm (me!) will be providing the introduction for the hugely successful Get Out at the Gulbenkian cinema on Tuesday 9th May at 7pm.

Get Out is the directorial debut of Jordan Peele and produced by Blumhouse Productions, and the film has been widely praised by critics and audiences alike. The film tells the story of Chris, who is in a interracial relationship with Rose, as he visits the latter’s parents and meets her strange extended family…

The introduction shall reflect upon the film’s success as a small-budget horror film, outlining why the film has been celebrated for its discussion of race and the African-American experience, particularly from the perspective of a young, black man. I shall also discuss the influences which are present in the film, including how the Gothic can be seen inspire the film’s narrative and tone, with the topic of gender now supplanted by discourses on race.

Tickets for the film are available here. (Please note: students are able to purchase 2 for 1 tickets for this screening).

I hope to see you there!

get out

Call for papers: At Home with Horror?

Our colleagues at the University of Kent, and members of the Gothic Feminism group,  Katerina Flint-Nicol and Ann-Marie Fleming have announced an exciting call for papers on horror on television. The conference will take place at Kent on the 27th – 28th October 2017 – just in time for Halloween! – and the keynote speaker will be Dr Helen Wheatley. Please see the CFP below. All queries should be directed to and you can find out more information here:

Flyer #2

At home with horror? Terror on the small screen
27th-28th October 2017
University of Kent
Keynote speaker: Dr Helen Wheatley (University of Warwick)
The recent horror output on TV and the small screen challenges what Matt Hills found to be the overriding assumption ‘that film is the [horror] genre’s ‘natural’ home’ (Hills 2005, 111). Programmes such as American Horror Story, Penny Dreadful and The Walking Dead are aligned to ‘‘quality TV’, yet use horror imagery and ideas to present a form and style of television that is ‘not ordinary’’ (Johnston 2016, 11). Developments in industrial practices and production technology have resulted in a more spectacular horror in the medium, which Hills argues is the ‘making cinematic’ of television drama (Hills 2010, 23). The generic hybridity of television programmes such as Whitechapel, and Ripper Street allow conventions of the horror genre to be employed within the narrative and aesthetics, creating new possibilities for the animation of horror on the small screen. Series such as Bates Motel and Scream adapt cinematic horror to a serial format, positioning the small screen (including terrestrial, satellite and online formats) as the new home for horror.
The history of television and horror has often displayed a problematic relationship. As a medium that operates within a domestic setting, television has previously been viewed as incompatible with ‘authentic’ horror. Television has been approached as incapable of mobilizing the intense audience reactions associated with the genre and seen as a medium ‘restricted’ in its ability to scare and horrify audiences partly due to censorship constraints (Waller 1987) and scheduling arrangements. Such industrial practices have been seen as tempering the genre’s aesthetic agency resulting in inferior cinematic imitations or, ‘degraded made-for-TV sequels’ (Waller 1987, 146). For Waller, the technology of television compounded the medium’s ability to animate horror and directed its initial move towards a more ‘restrained’ form of the genre such as adapting literary ghost stories and screening RKO productions of the 1940s (Ibid 1987). Inferior quality of colour and resolution provided the opportunity to suggest rather than show. Horror then, has presented a challenge for television: how can the genre be positioned in such a family orientated and domesticated medium? As Hills explains, ‘In such a context, horror is conceptualised as a genre that calls for non- prime-time scheduling… and [thus] automatically excluded from attracting a mass audience despite the popularity of the genre in other media’ (Hills 2005, 118).
Helen Wheatley’s monograph, Gothic Television (2006), challenges the approach of television as a limiting medium for horror, and instead focuses on how the domestic setting of the television set is key to its effectiveness.  Focusing on the female Gothic as a domestic genre, Wheatley draws a lineage from early literary works, to the 1940s cycle of Gothic women films and Gothic television of the 1950s onwards. Wheatley argues for the significance of the domestic setting in experiencing stories of domestic anxiety for, ‘the aims of the Gothic drama made for television [are] to suggest a congruence between the domestic spaces on the screen and the domestic reception context’ (Wheatley 2006, 191).
Developments in small screen horror are not restricted to contemporary output. In his work on the cultural history of horror, Mark Jancovich argues that it was on television in the 1990s where key developments in the genre were taking place (Jancovich 2002). Taking Jancovich’s work as a cue, Hills develops his own approach to the significance of horror television of the 1990s. Hills cites Buffy the Vampire Slayer and The X Files as examples of programmes striving to mobilise the genre’s more graphic elements while existing as a ‘high-end’ cultural product: ‘authored’ TV that targeted a niche fan audience (Hills 2005, 126). 
Taking these recent developments into account, the aim of this conference is to engage with such advances. Can we say that it is on the small screen where critical and creative innovations in horror are now being made? How has the expansion of satellite television and online sites impacted the genre? How has the small screen format developed the possibilities of horror? Is the recent alignment with ‘quality TV’ evidence of horror’s new mainstream status? This conference will also reflect on seminal works on television horror and revisit the history of the genre. In addressing these questions the conference will underline the importance of the small screen for horror, within the study of the genre and of the medium, and ask: is the small screen now the home of horror?  
Topics can include but are not limited to:
  • The seasons and horror on the small screen
  • Gothic television
  • Gender and horror
  • Historical figures and events in small screen horror
  • Small screen horror as an ‘event’
  • Adaptation from cinema to small screen ‘re-imaginings’
  • Production contexts
  • Censorship and the small screen
  • Serialisation and horror production
  • National television production of horror
  • The impact of Netflix and Amazon Prime
  • TV history and horror
  • Literary adaptations
  • Children’s TV and horror
  • Genre hybridity
  • Fandom
  • Teen horror
  • Stardom and horror
Please submit proposals of 400 words, along with a short biographical note (250 words) to by Friday 30th June. We welcome 20 minute conference papers as well as submissions for creative work or practice-as-research including, but not limited to, short films and video essays.
Conference organisers: Katerina Flint-Nicol and Ann-Marie Fleming

The Handmaiden at the Curzon

Park Chan-wook’s The Handmaiden will be screening at the Curzon in Canterbury from tomorrow, including with a very special introduction by Gothic Feminism’s Dr Tamar Jeffers McDonald! Tamar will be giving an introduction to the film on Saturday 15th April at 2.25pm. This screening will also be a special director’s cut version of the film which features an extra 20 minutes of footage.

The screening and introduction are part of the wider Gothic Feminism project exploring the representation of women on screen in Gothic cinema. Purchase your tickets from the Curzon website here.

The Handmaiden

Conference screening: The Eyes of My Mother at the Curzon

We are very excited to announce that, as an extension to the conference proceedings, we will be hosting a screening of The Eyes of My Mother (2017) at the Curzon cinema in Canterbury. The screening will take place at 7pm on Thursday 25th May and will be introduced by our keynote speaker Dr Xavier Aldana Reyes.

To attend the film screening as part of the conference, please see the details below.

For registered delegates:

If you have already registered for the conference, we are able to offer you the opportunity to purchase a ticket to the screening at the reduced price of £10.50. In order to take advantage of this offer, could you please confirm to me via email ( that you will be attending the film screening by Friday 28th April.

The Curzon will then reserve your ticket for you and you will need to pay them directly for it on the night of the screening. (Please note: we kindly request that you only reserve a ticket if you intend to pay for it and attend the screening).

For non-registered delegates:

If you have not yet registered for the conference and would like to take advantage of the above offer, please complete conference registration ASAP here: 

Once you are registered, please follow the instructions above and again let me know by Friday 28th April that you will be attending the film screening so I can reserve a ticket for you at the Curzon.


We hope you will be able to take advantage of this offer and attend this exciting event!


Conference registration is now open!

Registration for the Gothic Feminism conference Women-in-Peril or Final Girls? Representing Women in Gothic and Horror Cinema is now open and will close on Friday 12th May 2017.

To register, please visit the University of Kent’s Online Store here or via:

Registration Fees

The conference fees are:

£45 (waged)

£25 (unwaged)

The conference fee includes a delegate pack, lunch and refreshments for the three days.

Registration Deadline

Registration with close on  Friday 12th May 2017.

Further Information

The conference programme can be viewed here. Advice on travelling to Kent can be found here. Please direct any queries to:

These details are also available to view on Registration page.

We look forward to welcoming you to Kent!

Blog background

Conference programme: Women-in-Peril or Final Girls? Representing Women in Gothic and Horror Cinema

We are thrilled to announce the programme of this year’s Gothic Feminism conference. A huge thanks for everyone who submitted an abstract and for all those speakers who have agreed to participate.

The programme is also available to view here.

Gothic Feminism presents:

Women-in-Peril or Final Girls? Representing Women in Gothic and Horror Cinema

24th – 26th May 2017

University of Kent


Wednesday 24th May

09:00 – 09:30              Registration

09:30 – 9:45                Welcome and Opening Remarks

9:45 – 11:00                Keynote Speech – Dr Xavier Aldana Reyes (Manchester Metropolitan University):

What Final Girls Did Next: Horror Heroines in the Age of Postfeminism’

11:00 – 11:30              Tea & coffee break

11:30 – 13:00              Papers 1: The Gothic and Horror of Crimson Peak

‘Taking the Final Girl Backwards: Femininity and Abjection in Del Toro’s Crimson Peak’ – Marine Galiné (University of Reims-Champagne-Ardenne)

‘Don’t Call it a Horror Film: The Uses of the Gothic in Crimson Peak’ – Matt Denny (University of Warwick)

‘The Presence of Absence: The Supernatural Gothic of Crimson Peak’ – Frances A. Kamm (University of Kent)

13:00 – 14:00              Lunch

14:00 – 16:00              Papers 2: Split Identities

‘“Sins? What Sins? I am a Scientist I Cannot Sin”: Exploring Thematic Dichotomies in the Filmic Representation of Mary Shelley’ – Linda McCarthy (University of East Anglia) and Richard Sheppard (University of Wales)

‘Silver Spangles in Her Eyes: The Gypsy Outlaw and Female Fantasy in the Gainsborough Gothics’ – Carolyn King (Independent Scholar)

‘“The Human Component in a Turing Test” Monstrous Final Girl-in-Peril: Creating Gothic Horror Through Setting and Character in Ex Machina” – Rebecca Jones (De Montford University)

‘Dead Girls on Film: Murder, Media and Nostalgia’ – Katherine Farrimond (University of Sussex)

16:00 – 16:30              Tea & coffee break

16:30 – 18:00              Papers 3: Age

‘A “Child-Friendly” Horror Aesthetic: Coraline as Female Gothic and Slasher Film’ – Catherine Lester (University of Warwick)

‘Matron or Nanny: Representations of Older Women in Modern British Gothic Horror Films’ – Natasha Parcei (Leeds Beckett University)

‘That Cold Day in the Park: A Countercultural Gothic’ – James Kloda (Freeland Writer and Journalist)

18:00 – 19:00              Cake and wine reception


Thursday 25th May

09:30 – 11:00              Papers 4: Bewitching the Body

‘The Terrifying and the Teenage: How Possession Films Reflect the Societal Fear of Young Women’s Sexuality and Agency’ – Hannah Granberry (University of Colorado Boulder)

‘“Wouldst Thou Like to Live Deliciously?”: Gothic Feminism and the Final Girl in The Witch’ – Victoria Madden (University of Edinburgh)

‘Witches, “Bitches” or Feminist Trailblazers? Tracing Interpretation of the Witch from Piers Haggard’s Blood on Satan’s Claw (1971) to Robert Egger’s The Witch (2016)’ – Chloé Germaine Buckley (Manchester Metropolitan University)

11:00 – 11:30              Tea & coffee break

11:30 – 13:00              Papers 5: Transgressive Women

‘The “Penultimate Girl” as Gothic Woman-in-Peril and Modernist Final Girl in Vincenzo Natali’s Haunter (2013) – Lee Broughton (Independent Scholar)

‘“Unsettling the Men”: The Representation of Transgressive Female Desire in Daughter of Darkness (1948)’ – Paul Mazey (University of Bristol)

‘Bewitched, Bedazzled and Bewildered: The Rituals of Witchcraft in The Neon Demon’ – Jennifer Richards (Manchester Metropolitan University)

13:00 – 14:00              Lunch

14:00 – 16:00              Papers 6: International Gothic and Horror

‘From Gothic Ballet to Horror at the Opera: The Endangered Female in Dario Argento’s Suspiria and Opera’ – Maria Giakaniki (Independent Scholar)

Miss Christina: From Mircea Eliade’s Novella to the Romanian Gothic Big-Budget Production’ – Oana-Maria Mazilu (University of Kent)

‘La Fille Final: The Final Girl in Contemporary French Horror Cinema’ – Maddison McGillvray (York University, Canada)

‘“The Saviour Who Came to Tear My Life Apart”: Queer Subjectivity and Reparative Paranoia in Chan-wook Park’s The Handmaiden’ – Robyn Ollett (Teeside University)

16:00 – 16:30              Tea & coffee break

19:00                           Film Screening (TBC) Ticket not included in registration fee


Friday 26th May

09:30 – 11:00              Papers 7: Post-Gender

Martyrs: The Defacement of Gender in a Monstrous Female Melodrama’ – Katerina Flint-Nicol (University of Kent)

‘Virgins and Vampires: The Ambiguous Women of Jean Rollin’s Gothic Dreams’ – Virginie Guichard (Westminster School)

‘The Final Girl of 21st-Century EcoGothic Cinema’ – Dawn Keetley (Lehigh University)

11:00 – 11:30              Tea & coffee break

11:30 – 13:00              Papers 8: Gothic Horror on TV

‘Demonic Possession, Gothic Suspicion and the Homme Fatale in Buffy the Vampire Slayer’ – Louise Child (Cardiff University)

‘The Women of Penny Dreadful: Gothic, Horror, and the Melodramatic Imagination’ – Alison L. McKee (San José State University)

Jamaica Inn: Simplifying Gender, Simplifying Genre’ – Holly Hirst (Manchester Metropolitan University)

13:00 – 14:00              Lunch

14:00 – 15:30              Papers 9: Gothic and Horror in Unexpected Locations

‘Gone Girl: Gender, Sexuality, and Horror in Gone Home’ – Andra Ivanescu (Brunel University and Anglia Ruskin University)

‘Rambler, Mother, Killer: Alice Lowe’s subversion of the Gothic Heroine in Sightseers and Prevenge’ – Lawrence Jackson (University of Kent)

‘“Sarge! She’s as hard as a rock!” – “You don’t have to tell me that. I’ve been married to her for fifteen years!” or How the Role of the Gothic Woman is Represented in Carry on Screaming!’ – Steven Gerrard (Leeds Beckett University)

15:30 – 16:00              Final remarks and closing of conference

16:00 – 16:30              Tea & coffee

Gothic Feminism screening: La Belle et la bête

On Sunday, Frances provided the introduction for a special screening on Jean Cocteau’s La Belle et la bête (1946) at the Curzon Cinema, Canterbury. The film is the first of a series of screenings we hope to to show as part of our wider Gothic Feminism project.

A summary of the introduction is below:

La Belle et la bête (Cocteau, 1946)

Disney will soon be releasing its new, live-action version of Beauty and the Beast starring Emma Watson and Dan Stevens which is based on the 1991 animation of same name. This year’s film is the latest in a series of live-action adaptations of previously successful Disney animations and early trailers for the film confirm the connection: the 2017 version is directly inspired by the narrative, imagery and motifs of its predecessor. But what was the inspiration for that original cartoon version of the story? There are many possible answers to this question but one of the most important involves Jean Cocteau’s La Belle et la bête from 1946.

This introduction shall explore the enduring legacy of Cocteau’s film for cinema history, and outline the director’s motivations for adapting the tale and how the film has been interpreted within scholarship. I will also explore the origins of the ‘Beauty and the Beast’ myth and argue that Cocteau’s adaptation of the story highlights the fairy tale’s Gothic potential.

La belle et la bete

(Text by: Frances A. Kamm; Image: La Belle et la bête, 1946)

Keynote address: What Final Girls Did Next

We are thrilled to announce the title and abstract for our keynote address by Dr Xavier Aldana Reyes to be given at our Women-in-Peril or Final Girls? conference in May!

What Final Girls Did Next: Horror Heroines in the Age of Postfeminism

Horror cinema has consistently been both condemned and celebrated for its gender politics. For journalists and watchdogs, the Snuff (1976) controversy and the rise of rape revenge films was worrying because it problematically eroticised violence against women and combined horror with that other apparently objectifying genre, pornography. Similarly, the return of realistic horror in the early twenty-first century in films like Hostel II (2007) raised concerns about misogyny and the aestheticisation of the torture of women. At the same time film critics have emphasised the reflective and transgressive powers of horror. In the 1980s and 1990s, Linda Williams, Tania Modleski, Carol J. Clover, Barbara Creed and Rhona J. Berenstein showed how horror can capture and channel gender anxieties, and proposed that its identificatory complexities can make it progressive and empowering. More recently, Steven Jones has queried simplistic readings of so-called torture porn, and snuff has been recast as a subgenre more interested in the mediation of death in the age of digital truth than in sexual exploitation (Neil Jackson et al. 2016; Kerekes and Slater 2016).

This plenary seeks to engage with this history by identifying and contextualising the position of contemporary heroines in horror film at a time when feminism appears to be in crisis. I will begin by focusing on antifeminism, postfeminism and the perceived failures and limitations of third-wave feminism in order to establish a revisionist approach that may allow us to reinstate the importance of choice. I will then move on to explore the various paths that women have followed in post-millennial horror, and how these mirror the spectrum of film gender studies more generally. My areas of concern are representation (especially developments in the neo-slasher and the Gothic film), agency (feminist horror and horror directed by women), transnationalism (how horror is allowing for gender-specific enquiries of the role of women outside horror’s main centres of production) and reception (female horror viewers). To emphasise the currency of some of these points, I will centre on films that have been released in the last couple of years, especially A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night (2015), Crimson Peak (2015), Under the Shadow (2016) and The Witch (2016). My ‘final’ aim is not to homogenise horror into an unequivocal force for good, but rather to demonstrate that it continues to have the capacity to actively question the role and position of women in their respective societies through imaginative exercises which often involve resistance, resilience, assertiveness and the embrace of non-essentialist models of subjectivity.


Dr Xavier Aldana Reyes is Senior Lecturer in English Literature and Film at Manchester Metropolitan University and a member of the Manchester Centre for Gothic Studies. He is the author of Spanish Gothic (Palgrave Macmillan, 2017), Horror Film and Affect (Routledge, 2016) and Body Gothic (UWP, 2014), and the editor of Horror: A Literary History (British Library, 2016) and co-editor of Digital Horror (I.B. Tauris, 2015). Xavier is the chief editor of the University of Wales Press’s forthcoming Horror Studies series.