Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Zombies and Sexuality Anthology - Out now


As an update to my previous post, the book I am co-editing with Shaka McGlotten - Zombies and Sexuality: Essays on Desire and the Living Dead - is out now in the US. The book can be ordered directly from McFarland and Amazon US (and all good retailers). 

About the Book
Since the early 2000s, zombies have increasingly swarmed the landscape of popular culture, with ever more diverse representations of the undead being imagined. A growing number of zombie narratives have introduced sexual themes, endowing the living dead with their own sexual identity. The unpleasant idea of the sexual zombie is itself provocative, triggering questions about the nature of desire, sex, sexuality, and the politics of our sexual behaviors. However, the notion of zombie sex has been largely unaddressed in scholarship.

This collection addresses that unexamined aspect of zombiedom, with essays engaging a variety of media texts, including graphic novels, films, television, pornography, literature, and internet meme culture. The essayists are scholars from a variety of disciplines, including history, theology, film studies, and gender and queer studies. Covering The Walking Dead, Warm Bodies, and Bruce LaBruce’s zombie-porn movies, this work investigates the cultural, political and philosophical issues raised by undead sex and zombie sexuality.

Table of Contents

  • Introduction: Zombie Sex (Steve Jones and Shaka McGlotten)  
  • Take, Eat, These Are My Brains: Queer Zombie Jesus (Max Thornton)  
  • Victorian Values: Necrophilia and the Nineteenth Century in Zombie Films (Marcus Harmes) 
  • A Love Worth ­Un-Undying For: Neoliberalism and Queered Sexuality in Warm Bodies (Sasha Cocarla)  
  • For a Good Time Just Scream: Sex Work and Plastic Sexuality in "Dystopicmodern Literature" (Denise N. Cook)  
  • Laid to Rest: Romance, End of the World Sexuality and Apocalyptic Anticipation in Robert Kirkman’s The Walking Dead (Emma Vossen)  
  • Queering and Cripping the End of the World: Disability, Sexuality and Race in The Walking Dead (Cathy Hannabach)  
  • Re-Animating the Social Order: Zombies and Queer Failure (Trevor Grizzell)  
  • Gay Zombies: Consuming Masculinity and Community in Bruce LaBruce’s Otto; or, Up with Dead People and L.A. Zombie (Darren ­Elliott-Smith)  
  • "I Eat Brains … or Dick": Sexual Subjectivity and the Hierarchy of the Undead in Hardcore Film (Laura Helen Marks)  
  • Pretty, Dead: Sociosexuality, Rationality and the Transition into ­Zom-Being (Steve Jones)  

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Goddammit Guys, What is Wrong with You?

This post has been updated - scroll to the bottom for the "developments"

Sometimes I truly despair about the state of internet culture, particularly where some "men" are concerned. I've been pretty quiet of late about the farcical reactions to Anita Sarkeesisan (a woman... who dares to have opinions?!), the "fappening" (women... who dare to have nude bodies AND still feel entitled to privacy...?!), but the Emma Watson incident has tipped me over the edge, not because it is special - sadly it is not - but because it is the indicative straw that has busted my hump. Emma Watson's speech at the UN was perfectly reasonable and not at all inflammatory (or if it was, I missed that part).



She is not the first person to publicly note that gender equality requires men and women to work together, and I'm sure she won't be the last.  Quite why that has inspired some 4Chan users losers to declare that they will retaliate by posting nude photos of her is beyond me. If anyone can explain what aspect of the speech has incited such rage, I'd love to know because at the moment I'm left fearing that the reaction at least verges on psychosis.

Simply put, I can see no reason to disagree with Watson's point: gender equality requires men and women to work together. In retaliation for my having an opinion that sounds suspiciously feminist, I'm now officially threatening to post some nude photos of myself on the internet. Trust me, no one wants that to happen.


**UPDATE**: so, it now looks like the retaliation was a hoax created by Rantic Marketing some attention-seeking losers. Does that make it any better? Barely. Rantic Marketing have Tweeted in their own defence, stating that they are ere trying to force the closure of 4Chan, asking 4Chan users to reflect on their attitudes towards leaking nude photos. Nevertheless, they used a threat of privacy violation and sexual objectification to do so - their leveraging tool was Emma Watson herself. Unless Watson was in on the hoax (which would undermine her UN Speech), Rantic Marketing propagated the kind of threat and disregard for Watson's distress that they are ostensibly railing against. That, my friends, is called hypocrisy, and does nothing to "end the problem". At least I now know who to send my nude selfies to: brace yourselves workers of Rantic...

**Further Update**:

daily mail emma watson

Hear that? It is the sound of my teeth grinding.

Monday, 22 September 2014

Sunday, 21 September 2014

Max Hardcore Filing for Bankruptcy

According to Mike South (here), Max Hardcore is filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy owing $1084267.74. Max (aka Paul Little) is also currently in the midst of a complex legal tussle with Bonnie Rotten. I find it hard to sympathise with Max, what with him being such a sleaze-bag misogynist. Even if he makes it out of bankruptcy, the lawyer costs alone will hopefully sink his film-making ventures for a while. 

Saturday, 20 September 2014

I Spit on Your Grave 3: Update

I Spit on Your Grave 3Although no director is yet attached to the project, I Spit on Your Grave 3 now has an outline premise and a casting call. As the character names ("Old Woman"?) suggest, the plot is probably still in the early stages. It sounds like the new sequel will ignore the events of part two entirely, which is a shame. I was hoping that the third film would feature Jennifer (Sarah Butler) and Katie (Jemma Dallender) meeting at some kind of PTSD counselling and deciding to wage war on rape in general - both in and out of the courtroom. Maybe the film could set aside depictions of rape and nudity in favor of character-driven drama about the rape-kit backlog in America. Hell, I'd even watch a film where those characters take justice into their own hands by breaking into police storage units, stealing the rape its, testing them in their own impromptu facility, then anonymously forwarding the information to the police - or even hacking into the police database, then tracking down the rapists themselves (if anyone from CineTel is reading, give me a call: "let's make it happen"). Surely my idea sounds more entertaining than the fairly drab synopsis below...  

Synopsis
Following her rape, Jennifer Hills wrote a best-selling account of her ordeal and of the controversial trial in which she was accused — of taking the law into her own hands and brutally killing her assailants. In the small town where the rape and revenge took place, the relatives of the four rapists she killed are furious that the court declared her not guilty, and resolve to take justice into their own hands.

[ BECKY ]
Mid 50s. A mean-spirited, vindictive woman that has lost her husband to foul play. A very angry individual, Becky leads several townspeople into a bizarre plot to avenge and destroy her husband’s killer. A physically fit Kathy Bates type. LEAD. 1 scene of exposing her breast/partial nudity.

[ HERMAN ]
Late 50s. A mentally challenged, strong bear of a man. Herman is a follower of Becky’s, who also lost his son to foul play. However, he finds himself questioning Becky’s actions as they often conflict with his strong religious beliefs. LEAD.

[ KEVIN ]
Mid 20s to late 30s. Physically fit and handy with a knife. Kevin is a follower of Becky. A little too eager to seek revenge on his brother’s killer, Kevin will follow Becky’s orders to the last note. LEAD. FULL NUDITY REQUIRED.

[ SCOTTY ]
Mid 20s to late 30s. Attractive man. Less than clever. A follower of Becky, and the cousin of one of the men killed. LEAD. FULL NUDITY REQUIRED.

[ OLD WOMAN ]
Mid 70s or older, spunky and kind with a deceiving evil undertone. She and her husband wander around the outskirts of town in their beat-up pickup truck constantly arguing with one another. They always seem to be in the right place at the right time.

[ OLD MAN ]
Mid 70s or older, with questionable hygiene habits. He and his wife wander around the outskirts of town in their beat-up pickup truck constantly arguing with one another. They always seem to be in the right place at the right time.

[ BEADY-EYES ]
50 – 70 years old. A woman with beady-eyes and a hook-nose who has a creepy hyena like laugh. Paddling the streets with her bicycle and all the while ringing her bell, she’s indeed very creepy…and dangerous.

[ CLERGYMAN ]
50-70 years old, this ever present character adds much meaning and understanding to the town’s groups twisted grasp on reality. Perfect character for a cameo.

***UPDATE***: 
According to Dread Central, 'Camille Keaton, who played Jennifer in Meir Zarchi’s 1978 cult classic I Spit on Your Grave (Day of the Woman), will be starring in the third film. The project is is now titled I Spit on Your Grave – Deja-vu and as it turns out… is an actual sequel written by Meir Zarchi that shares characters as well as continuity with his original 1978 cult classic Day of the Woman aka Spit On Your Grave. Chad Ferrin and Terry Zarchi are producing with Meir once again directing. The project has nothing to do with CineTel Films or Anchor Bay.'

Friday, 19 September 2014

Thursday, 18 September 2014

CFP: Consuming/Culture: Women and Girls in Print and Pixels

CFP: Consuming/Culture: Women and Girls in Print and Pixels

Keynotes: Prof. Angela McRobbie and Prof. Feona Attwood

http://openbrookes.net/consumingculture/
@PrintAndPixels

5th-6th June 2015

Submit abstracts of no more than 250 words to consuming.culture.conference@gmail.com by 1 October 2014.

Angela McRobbie is Professor of Communications at Goldsmiths College, University of London, UK. Her unparalleled contribution to the study of gendered media spans 4 decades: from her seminal 1978 study of teen magazines, Jackie: an ideology of adolescent femininity, and the influential Postmodernism and popular culture (1994), to her forthcoming new book Feminism, femininity and the perfect (2015: Sage).

Feona Attwood is Professor of Cultural Studies, Communication and Media at Middlesex University, UK. Her research in the area of sex in contemporary culture; sexualization; new technologies; and controversial media has been foundational to feminist media studies having edited books such as Controversial Images: Media Representations on the Edge (2013) and Mainstreaming Sex: The Sexualization of Western Culture (2009) and the recently launched Routledge journal Porn Studies.

This conference follows on from those held at Kingston (2012) and Cornell (2013), themed around women and magazines. We have selected a theme that will allow for a wide range of papers and we encourage submissions from scholars at all stages of their careers. We especially welcome proposals that incorporate the following themes:

  • advertising
  • celebrity
  • digital platforms
  • fashion
  • food
  • internationalisation
  • marketing
  • memoirs and autobiography
  • sport
  • all forms of identity/representational politics.

The organisers encourage collaborative efforts, in both individual paper and panel submissions.

This conference will also incorporate a poster session that will allow participants to feature visual aspects of magazines. Queries about this mode of presentation and abstract of 150-250 words can be directed to consuming.culture.conference@gmail.com by 1 October 2014.

The will be a small bursary that PhD students can apply to for help towards travel costs.

Should there be sufficient interest we will consider the possibility of publishing an edited collection after the conference.

The conference will be held at Oxford Brookes University and is jointly sponsored by Oxford Brookes University (UK), Arcadia University (US), and the University of East Anglia (UK). For additional information and updates, please go to http://openbrookes.net/consumingculture/ and follow @PrintAndPixels on twitter.

Monday, 15 September 2014

First-Person Account of Cotard's Delusion

33A_0656I have recently written a piece about the film Pretty Dead (see my review) for my upcoming Zombies and Sexuality collection. The film tells the story of a medical student who may be turning into a zombie, or may be suffering from Cotard's Delusion (a schizoaffective disorder characterized by the patient's belief that they have died).
In her article ‘Perdition Days: On Experiencing Psychosis’ (published at The Toast), Esmé Weijun Wang recounts her experiences of Cotard's Delusion. For anyone interested in this area of selfhood or mental health more generally, it is highly recommended reading. The first-person perspective is highly evocative. 

Sunday, 14 September 2014

Philosophy Karaoke

I really liked this, proving that I enjoy puns and I am also a nerd. Oh well.

THE CANON OF PHILOSOPHY STUDENT KARAOKE SONGS.

BY JARRY LEE


  1. “Total Eclipse of Descartes”
  2. “Don’t You (Foucault About Me)”
  3. “U Kant Touch This”
  4. “Hit Me Baby Wittgenstein”
  5. “Camus Feel the Love Tonight?”
  6. “Get the Party Sartred”
  7. “Forever Jung”
  8. “I Kissed Hegel (And I Liked It)”
  9. “Ain’t No Montaigne High Enough”
  10. “Pop, Locke & Drop It”
  11. “Bataille Will Always Love You”
  12. “My Milkshake Brings All the Baudrillard”
  13. “Rousseau Vain (You Probably Think This Song is About You)”
  14. “Love Voltaire Us Apart”
  15. “Psycho Schiller”



Saturday, 13 September 2014

Zombies and Sexuality: Pre-order Now!


The book I am co-editing with Shaka McGlotten - Zombies and Sexuality: Essays on Desire and the Living Dead - is due out at the end of the year. The volume is now available for pre-order from McFarland and Amazon (and all good retailers). 

About the Book
Since the early 2000s, zombies have increasingly swarmed the landscape of popular culture, with ever more diverse representations of the undead being imagined. A growing number of zombie narratives have introduced sexual themes, endowing the living dead with their own sexual identity. The unpleasant idea of the sexual zombie is itself provocative, triggering questions about the nature of desire, sex, sexuality, and the politics of our sexual behaviors. However, the notion of zombie sex has been largely unaddressed in scholarship.

This collection addresses that unexamined aspect of zombiedom, with essays engaging a variety of media texts, including graphic novels, films, television, pornography, literature, and internet meme culture. The essayists are scholars from a variety of disciplines, including history, theology, film studies, and gender and queer studies. Covering The Walking Dead, Warm Bodies, and Bruce LaBruce’s zombie-porn movies, this work investigates the cultural, political and philosophical issues raised by undead sex and zombie sexuality.

Table of Contents

  • Introduction: Zombie Sex (Steve Jones and Shaka McGlotten)  
  • Take, Eat, These Are My Brains: Queer Zombie Jesus (Max Thornton)  
  • Victorian Values: Necrophilia and the Nineteenth Century in Zombie Films (Marcus Harmes) 
  • A Love Worth ­Un-Undying For: Neoliberalism and Queered Sexuality in Warm Bodies (Sasha Cocarla)  
  • For a Good Time Just Scream: Sex Work and Plastic Sexuality in "Dystopicmodern Literature" (Denise N. Cook)  
  • Laid to Rest: Romance, End of the World Sexuality and Apocalyptic Anticipation in Robert Kirkman’s The Walking Dead (Emma Vossen)  
  • Queering and Cripping the End of the World: Disability, Sexuality and Race in The Walking Dead (Cathy Hannabach)  
  • Re-Animating the Social Order: Zombies and Queer Failure (Trevor Grizzell)  
  • Gay Zombies: Consuming Masculinity and Community in Bruce LaBruce’s Otto; or, Up with Dead People and L.A. Zombie (Darren ­Elliott-Smith)  
  • "I Eat Brains … or Dick": Sexual Subjectivity and the Hierarchy of the Undead in Hardcore Film (Laura Helen Marks)  
  • Pretty, Dead: Sociosexuality, Rationality and the Transition into ­Zom-Being (Steve Jones)  

Wednesday, 3 September 2014

CFP: Italian Horror Cinema

Call For Abstracts
'Italian Horror Cinema' - a special edition of the Journal of Italian Cinema and Media Studies

Edited by Dr Austin Fisher (Bedfordshire, UK) and Dr Johnny Walker (Northumbria, UK)

Italian Film Studies increasingly situates its subject matter within discourses that complicate merely 'national' orientations, as is evident in scholarship surrounding the country's wide array of horror films from the 1950s onwards. It has become common practice to examine in these films and their various cycles a tension between a culturally specific register pertaining to 'Italian' outlooks on the one hand, and cosmopolitan, transnational or 'translocal' flows of influence on the other. Spanning a period of traumatic socio-political upheaval, an ever-increasing importation of American fashions and styles, and lucrative international co-production models, Italian cinema's various vampires, witches, zombies, cannibals and serial killers document the complexities of cultural moments finely perched between the local and the global.

This special issue of the Journal of Italian Cinema and Media Studies will bring together diverse perspectives on the historical and political coordinates of Italian horror cinema. Encompassing the broad and porous cycles of gothic horror, gialli, zombie and cannibal films (among others), the issue will reconsider the heterogeneous strands of influence that feed into and out of these films, to examine negotiated, transitional and mobile Italian identities.

Likely topics include:
* Cinematic / literary antecedents to Italian horror films.
* Studies of Italian horror cinema's political / historical contexts.
* Transnational / transcultural routes of influence and cultural significance.
* Industrial histories (e.g. co-production funding structures, key production companies).
* Studies of domestic or international distribution patterns / reception.
* Considerations of individual films / trends.
* Translation studies / cultural translation.
* Italian horror auteurs / directors.
* The on-going global legacies of Italian horror.
* Italian horror cinema today.

Abstracts of no more than 500 words, along with a short biographical note, should be submitted to both austin.fisher@beds.ac.uk and johnny.walker@northumbria.ac.uk by Monday September 15th 2014. Final articles will be between 6000 and 8000 words (including notes and references, but excluding author biography, keywords and abstract), and should be submitted by the end of May 2015. Inclusion in the special issue will then be determined by an anonymous peer-review process.

For details of the rationale and requirements of the Journal of Italian Cinema and Media Studies, see the journal's webpage: http://www.intellectbooks.co.uk/journals/view-Journal,id=215/view,page=2/


Dr Austin Fisher is Senior Lecturer in Media Arts at the University of Bedfordshire, the author of Radical Frontiers in the Spaghetti Western (I. B. Tauris, 2011), and founding co-editor of the Global Exploitation Cinemas book series (Bloomsbury).
Dr Johnny Walker is a Lecturer in Media at Northumbria University, the author of Contemporary British Horror Cinema: Industry, Genre and Society (EUP, 2015), and founding co-editor of the Global Exploitation Cinemas book series (Bloomsbury)