De-Westernizing Horror: Reframing the Genre Cinemas of Asia

deadline for submissions: 
August 26, 2022
full name / name of organization: 
King's College London

De-Westernizing Horror: Reframing the Genre Cinemas of Asia

King’s College London

Monday 31st October – Tuesday 01st November, 2022

Keynote Speaker: Meheli Sen (Rutgers University)

In 2012, Saër Maty Bâ and Will Higbee published their necessary and urgent intervention, De-Westernizing Film Studies. The principle aim of their collection was to “consider what forms a challenge to the enduring vision of film as a medium – and film studies as a discipline – modelled on ‘Western’ ideologies, theoretical and historical frameworks, critical perspectives as well as institutional and artistic practices, might take today” (2012: 1).

This two-day in-person conference at King’s College London takes up the call of Bâ and Higbee and applies it to the field of horror film studies. By interrogating the dominance of the West within existing theorisations of horror cinema, we will ask how a transnational approach to the genre within Asia might help us work towards the broader goal of de-Westernizing horror film studies.
In this approach, we are building upon existing work on individual national traditions of horror in Asia (e.g. Japanese Horror Cinema[EUP, 2005], Hong Kong Horror Cinema [EUP, 2018], Indian Horror Cinema[Routledge, 2017]), along with studies that discuss a range of national traditions (e.g. Horror to the Extreme[HKUP, 2009], Horror International [WSUP, 2005], Transnational Horror Cinema[Palgrave, 2017]) and we aim to bring scholars working on a range of different national horror traditions in Asia into dialogue with each other. Moreover, we recognise that East Asian horror has dominated much of the discourse to date, so this conference also aims to help draw attention to previously neglected horror film traditions in Pakistan, Bangladesh, India, Taiwan, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Philippines, Turkey, and Egypt, alongside the major East Asian industries in Japan, Korea, and Hong Kong.
Topics may include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Theorising Genre Cinema in an Asian context
  • Global/Local dynamics in Asian horror
  • Transnational connections across national traditions
  • Remakes and Adaptations
  • Politics of Race, Gender and Sexuality
  • Ghosts, zombies, witches and monsters
  • Religion, Folklore and Myth
  • Fandom, Circulation and Reception
  • Marginalised and neglected areas of horror

Please submit an abstract of 300 words along with a short biographical note to:

Conference Organisers: Dr Iain Robert Smith and Dr Zubair Shafiq (King’s College London).

This conference is a collaborative event between King’s College London and The Islamia University of Bahawalpur.

Please note that we have now extended the abstract deadline for this event to Friday 26th August 2022.