The "Overlooked" Years: Discussions of Early Television Horror - April 11-14, 2012
Up to this point, horror on television has been seen, as explained by Matt Hills in The Pleasures of Horror, "conceptually and generically dispensable." With the popularity of such television fare as True Blood, The Walking Dead, and Supernatural, early shows are sometimes left in the shadows of these contemporary explorations or horror. Hills details early incarnations of horror on the small screen as being clustered under the concept of 'Gothic TV,' which distances the viewer from the visual text in terms of location or content that is mixed with elements of the Gothic or science-fiction. This includes The Twilight Zone, The Outer Limits, and Kolchak: The Night Stalker, at one end of the spectrum and actually traversing into haunted houses on the other with shows such Ghost Hunters or A Haunting.
This roundtable seeks to explore this idea of 'Gothic TV' and discuss its relevancy to the history of horror on television. Participants should be willing to examine the influences of these programs on the genre, contemporary readings of classical shows, and other elements of the Gothic.
We invite presenters interested in a roundtable discussion of various topics regarding horror television including, but not limited to:
•Documentary horror television, i.e., A Haunting, Ghost Hunters
•Teen Horror, i.e., Are You Afraid of the Dark?, Goosebumps
•Contemporary readings of classic horror television
•Distribution of horror films for late-night television
Hills, Matt. The Pleasures of Horror. New York: Continuum, 2005.