Fear 2000: Horror Media Now Conference – 6-7 April, 2018 (Abstracts due 15 January, 2018)

deadline for submissions: 
January 15, 2017
full name / name of organization: 
Department of Humanities, Sheffield Hallam University
contact email: 

We invite proposals for 20 minute papers and 80 minute panels for the third annual Fear 2000 conference at Sheffield Hallam University – Fear 2000: Horror Media Now. Hosted by staff and postgraduate students in the Department of Humanities, the conference will investigate the present and future of the horror genre across several media.

One of the key aims of the Fear 2000 conference series has been to investigate developments at the cutting edge of horror. For example, Steffen Hantke's keynote address at last year's event asked whether the dominant monster of the 2010s will reveal itself to be the robot, a technological horror to replace the faithful zombie. Meanwhile, 2017 has seen horror surge back to the forefront of popular culture amidst barnstorming box-office triumphs for the likes of Get Out and It, the continued success of Stranger Things, celebrations of Stephen King on screen, and popular debates around the changing face of the genre (the Guardian alone has published high-profile ruminations on so-called "post-horror" and the return of torture porn in the wake of Jigsaw).

The popular resurgence of the horror genre has occurred in tandem with a number of unprecedented political, cultural and industrial shifts. Has horror re-entered the mainstream due to a rise in popular conservatism, for example, as it did in the 1950s and 1980s? And what of the current obsession with recalling those decades through their cultural touchstones; are we hungry for nostalgia, or are we witnessing a more complex critical engagement with horror of decades past? Or is horror thriving due to the proliferation of dedicated genre festivals and the explosion of streaming services – like Netflix and Shudder – that give a platform to films that might otherwise have never found an audience? And perhaps it is due to these new distribution and exhibition networks that, now more than ever, horror is giving voice to the marginalised; the likes of Desierto, Get Out and The Transfiguration have explored the horror of oppression at a time when race relations are at the forefront of the global consciousness, while Raw, Prevenge, M.F.A. and Most Beautiful Island have reclaimed the horror genre as a site for narratives about and made by women.

We seek papers that will investigate contemporary horror using a range of approaches and attempt to form a picture of the genre's present and future; we are particularly interested in papers and panels that consider the development of horror media since 2010. We are extremely pleased to announce that our first keynote speaker will be Stephen King expert and horror scholar Simon Brown (Kingston University), who will discuss the modern King boom ahead of the publication of his forthcoming monograph on adaptations of the author's work. More speakers and events will be announced in the coming months.

The conference will take place 6-7 April 2018. The deadline for proposals is 15 January 2018. For twenty minute papers, please submit a 50-100 word bio and a 300 word abstract including your name, the title of your paper, institutional affiliation and any technological requirements to Craig Ian Mann (c.mann@shu.ac.uk), Rose Butler (rose.butler@shu.ac.uk) and Shelley O'Brien (shelley.o'brien@shu.ac.uk).

We are also seeking proposals for panels of three people; if you would like to propose a panel, please keep submissions to a maximum of 1000 words and include abstracts, institutional affiliation, technological requirements and contact information for all speakers and a chair (if applicable). Panels should be planned for no more than 80 minutes in total and accommodate time for questions.

Please direct any informal enquiries to the above email addresses. You can also find updates on our Facebook (http://facebook.com/Fear2000), Twitter (http://twitter.com/SHUFear2000) and website (http://blogs.shu.ac.uk/fear2000). Please note that Fear 2000 has been traditionally concerned with film, television and video games and priority may be given to papers and panels with a strong focus on screen media. However, we do encourage submissions from scholars with an interest in emerging narrative forms such as creepypasta, podcasts, etc.

Beyond a contemporary focus, we are interested in receiving a broad range of abstracts related to the present and future of horror media, including (but not limited to):

Contemporary debates:

  • The modern aesthetics of horror
  • Nostalgia(?) for the 1980s
  • Women as creators/consumers of horror
  • Transnational horror cinema
  • Sound, music and scoring
  • The return of torture porn
  • "Post-horror"

Hollywood Horror:

  • The success of horror at the box office
  • Remakes, reboots, sequels and franchises
  • Horror adaptations

Cultural contexts:

  • The rise of popular conservatism
  • Donald Trump and the alt-right
  • Race and gender politics
  • Brexit and British horror
  • Class, capitalism and austerity

Industrial contexts:

  • Horror festivals
  • The straight-to-DVD market
  • Streaming services (e.g. Netflix, Amazon Prime, Shudder)
  • Independent producers/distributors (e.g. Glass Eye Pix, Dark Sky, A24, Arrow Films).

Horror beyond the cinema:

  • Television (e.g. Stranger Things, The Strain, Black Mirror)
  • Video games (e.g. The Last of Us, Until Dawn)
  • Podcasts (e.g. Welcome to Night Vale)
  • Radio drama (e.g. Tales from Beyond the Pale)
  • Creepypasta

Modern horror filmmakers:

  • Ana Lily Amirpour
  • Richard Bates Jr.
  • Justin Benson & Aaron Moorhead
  • Sean Byrne
  • Julia Ducournau
  • Can Evrenol
  • Mike Flanagan
  • Jordan Peele