Charity Lecture: The Horrors of Necropolitics in Black Lives Matter Horror Films

Join visiting lecture Dr Maisha Wester on Wednesday 4 May for her talk “You Already Dead”: The Horrors of Necropolitics in Black Lives Matter Horror Films. Organised by The School of English and EngSoc at the University of Sheffield, this charity lecture will be followed by a short Q&A session. All of the proceeds raised from the event will be donated to ASSIST Sheffield, a local charity which provides accommodation, information, and other support to those seeking sanctuary that have been refused asylum. This is a “pay what you feel” event. If you are unable to donate to ASSIST Sheffield, please purchase the free livestreaming ticket from the options on the Eventbrite page. Links to the livestream will be sent out in an email closer to the event.

This talk will take place at St George’s Lecture Theatre, The University of Sheffield as well as being livestreamed. You can book your ticket via eventbrite here.

Abstract: 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.

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: https://maishawestergothic.wordpress.com/