"You Already Dead": The Horror of Necropolitics in Black Lives Matter Horror Films
Dr Maisha Wester, Global Professor in the School of English, recently delivered a lecture at a charity event in St George's Lecture Theatre, titled "You Already Dead": The Horror of Necropolitics in Black Lives Matter Horror Films.
The event was organised jointly between the School of English and EngSoc, our student-led society. In total, £152.70 was raised for ASSIST Sheffield, a local charity who provide accommodation, information, and other support to those seeking sanctuary that have been refused asylum. A recording of the lecture is below.
Event description: Black Lives Matter Horror depicts and is informed by the very real and painfully long history of Black subjugation and violation in America. Despairing at the unchecked violence African Americans are consistently subjected to across the US, Black Lives Matter Horror articulates the horrors of racist biopolitics, and the systemic structures and ideologies which not only makes such violence conceivable but which ultimately enables and maintains the slaughter. Building upon the socio-political critiques of independent Blaxploitation Horror films like Ganja and Hess (1973) and Tales from the Hood (1995), films such as “Everybody Dies!” (2016), The First Purge (2018), Two Distant Strangers (2020), and Candyman (2021) — to name just a few of the films — meditate on the nature of US systemic whiteness and its will to destroy Black subjects as part of its Capitalist necropolitics. Black Lives Matter Horror depicts and is informed by the very real and painfully long history of Black subjugation and violation in America. The genre does not simply engage in philosophical speculation but is quite seriously trying to understand and intervene in the anti-Blackness which plagues America.
Bio: Dr Maisha Wester is a British Academy-sponsored Global Professor in the School of English. Her research investigates racial representation in Gothic Literature and Horror Film, and socio-political appropriations of Gothic and Horror tropes in racial discourses.
For more on her work and interests, see her website.
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