Revisiting the Final Girl: The 30th Anniversary of "Her Body, Himself," SCMS, Chicago IL, March 22-26 2017

deadline for submissions: 
August 1, 2016
full name / name of organization: 
Peter Marra
contact email: 

Revisiting the Final Girl: The 30th Anniversary of “Her Body, Himself”

Society for Cinema and Media Studies: Chicago IL, March 22 - 26, 2017

Autumn of 2017 marks 30 years since the initial publication of Carol J. Clover’s essay “Her Body, Himself: Gender in the Slasher FIlm” in Representations. Three decades later, Clover’s work continues to be an important reference in discussions of horror, and particularly slasher, media. It has also transcended the academic realm into popular discourse, and indeed has enjoyed a resurgence of late. Clover’s term Final Girl, which theorizes the attributes common to survivor figures in the slasher film, has been referenced in a range of modern slasher media. In 2015 alone there were the films Final Girl (dir: Tyler Shields) and The Final Girls (dir: Todd Strauss-Schulson) and TV’s popular series Scream Queens, created by Ryan Murphy, Brad Falchuk, and Ian Brennan, which concluded its first season with a finale titled “The Final Girl(s)” (dir: Falchuk).

“Revisiting the Final Girl” invites contemporary reconsiderations of the popularly circulated term Final Girl and discussions about its uses in horror studies at large. It particularly invites modern queer, feminist, and genre theorist reevaluations of the Final Girl. This includes discussions of new and evolving senses of the Final Girl in contemporary slasher and horror media, identifications of Final Girl tropes in unexpected film and media genres, considerations of how the Final Girl matters to studies of new media including digital humanities and video game studies, and transformative reformulations of the Final Girl which might redefine or expand its parameters as a theoretical concept. Papers may also include reinterpretations of Clover’s original work, including but not limited to, discussions of its application to the slasher film, and its potential variation through different 70s and 80s horror cinema. Authors are welcome to consider Clover’s work most explicitly or more implicitly. More broadly, the panel asks questions about “survival” in slasher and horror media and the value bestowed by this distinction. In what manner might survival potentially connote social importance or marginalized resistance? How do contemporary media press us to reconsider Clover’s term of 30 years ago and how does this term continue to inform our understanding of contemporary slasher and horror media?

Please submit a 300 word proposal and a brief author bio to Peter Marra at by August 1st, 2016. Decisions will be communicated before August 15th, 2016.