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

Gothic Feminism presents:

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

Wednesday 24th May – Friday 26th May 2017

University of Kent 

Gothic Feminism is a research project based at the University of Kent which seeks to re-engage with theories of the Gothic and reflect specifically upon the depiction of the Gothic heroine in film. The project raises questions of representation, interpretation and feminist enquiry in relation to the Gothic heroine throughout film history including present day incarnations. This project illuminates the concerns, contradictions and challenges posed by the Gothic heroine on-screen.

This year’s 3 day conference will re-engage with discussions of gender within Gothic and horror cinema by directly comparing the two. What relationship does Gothic have to horror – or horror to the Gothic – in respect to female representation? What makes a Gothic heroine different from (or, indeed, similar to) female victims/protagonists in horror films? What can we say about the centrality given to female performance in both these genres/modes? Where does one draw the line between Gothic and horror in film? 2017 will mark 30 years since Mary Ann Doane published The Desire to Desire and 25 years since Carol Clover published Men, Women and Chainsaws. This conference will also reflect upon the impact of seminal works on Gothic, horror and gender such as these within film theory. What do these works tell us about the relationship between Gothic and horror in respect to female representation? How do theories of the ‘woman’s film’ and the ‘Final Girl’ relate to contemporary film theory and feminist criticism? Are these ideas still applicable to recent Gothic and horror films, and their heroines? 

In addressing these questions this conference will underline the importance of female protagonists in Gothic and horror, within film history and contemporary cinema, and ask: are these characters women-in-peril or Final Girls, or both? 

The keynote speaker shall be Dr Xavier Aldana Reyes (Manchester Metropolitan University) delivering a talk entitled: ‘What Final Girls Did Next: Horror Heroines in the Age of Postfeminism’.


A special screening of The Eyes of My Mother will also be taking place on Thursday 25th May at the Curzon in Canterbury with an introduction by our keynote. A special ticket price is available for delegates; please see the details before for further information. 


Conference Information:

For further information, the conference programme and details on the screening, please see: https://gothicfeminism.com/

Registration for the conference is open and shall close on Friday 12th May 2017.

To register, please visit: http://store.kent.ac.uk/product-catalogue/faculty-of-humanities/school-of-arts/arts-events/gothic-feminism-conference-2017

The conference fee is £45 (waged) or £25 (unwaged). The conference fee includes lunch and refreshments for the 3 days.

If you have any queries please contact us at: gothicfeminism2016@gmail.com