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Keynote: Kevin Wynter, “The Final Brother: On Horror and Black Survivability”
November 10, 2021 @ 11:45 am - 1:00 pm
Do Black people always die first in horror movies? Is it possible to be Black and successfully survive a horror film? This talk examines the status of Black representations in the horror genre from Blaxploitation cinema to the horror parodies of the late 90s/early 2000s to argue that Blackness in the cultural imaginary is categorically comprehensible only when situated within inflexible and highly restricted narrative positions. Building from Carol Clover’s influential work on the slasher film and her introduction of the term “the final girl” in her study of its female protagonists, Dr. Kevin Wynter (Assistant Professor of Media Studies at Pomona College) will argue that the character of Chris Washington in Jordan Peele’s Get Out (2016) shows that Black protagonism does not simply subvert audience expectations or disrupt the rituals of viewership and participation the genre mandates, it short circuits the horror film paradigm altogether.