I have been invited to present a paper based on my recent Sexuality and Culture journal article at the University of Sunderland on 9th February. I'll update the blog with details as soon as I have a more specific location and time.
In the meantime, here is the abstract for the paper:
Torture Born: Representing Pregnancy and Abortion in Contemporary Survival-Horror
In proportion to the increased emphasis placed on abortion in partisan political debate since the early 2000s, there has been a noticeable upsurge in cultural representations of abortion. This paper charts ways in which that increase manifests in contemporary survival-horror. This paper contends that numerous contemporary survival-horror films foreground pregnancy. These representations of pregnancy reify the pressures that moralistic, partisan political campaigning places on individuals who consider terminating a pregnancy. These films contribute to public discourse by engaging with abortion as an individual, emotional matter, rather than treating abortion solely as a matter of political principle. This paper will posit that survival-horror—a genre that has been roundly disparaged by critics—makes an important contribution to sexual-political discourse: these films use horror to articulate “the things we cannot say” about abortion.