40 years of Alien
An academic symposium hosted by
The Centre for Film, Television and Screen Studies
Bangor University, UK
Friday 24 May 2019
Keynote Speaker: Dr Rikke Schubart (University of Southern Denmark)
Alien has left an indelible mark on popular culture. Conceived primarily to cash in on the popularity of science-fiction films in the late 1970s, directed by a person known for making adverts (Ridley Scott) and starring an unknown actor in the lead role (Sigourney Weaver), it transcended its humble origins to frighten and disturb audiences on its initial release. Its success has led to three direct sequels, two prequels, one ‘mashup’ franchise, a series of comic books, graphic novels, novelisations and games, and has an enormous and devoted fanbase. For forty years, Alien (and its progeny) has animated debate and discussion among critics and academics from a wide variety of disciplines and methodological perspectives.
Hosted by the Centre for Film, Television and Screen Studies at Bangor University, this symposium proposes to bring together scholars from diverse disciplinary backgrounds to explore Alien forty years since its release, debate its legacy and consider its position within visual culture.
Colin Arthur, who worked on the make-up and special effects for the film, has confirmed his attendance. We also hope Roger Dicken, who also worked on the film’s visual effects, will be able to join us.
We are delighted to confirm that Dr Rikke Schubart (University of Southern Denmark) will deliver the keynote address. Dr Schubart has written extensively about gender and genre, the action heroine in popular cinema, and women and horror. Her most recent monograph, Mastering Fear: Women, Emotions and Contemporary Horror, was published by Routledge in 2018.
We welcome contributions from any perspective such as (but not limited to) the following:
- Alien – origins, influences, production, aesthetics, publicity, reception, afterlife
- Sequels, prequels and mashups: Aliens, Alien 3, Alien: Resurrection, Prometheus, Alien: Covenant, Alien vs Predator, Alien vs Predator: Requiem
- The Alien Transmedia Universe: games, comic books, graphic novels, novelisations
- Sigourney Weaver: star, producer, auteur?
- Ripley as feminist icon: the gender politics of the Alien universe
- Alien and motherhood
- Alien and race, ethnicity and otherness
- HR Giger and The Art of Alien
- Alien and psychoanalysis
- A Haunted House in Space: Alien as Gothic horror
- Alien and science-fiction
- Alien, audiences, fandom and ‘cult’
- ‘The perfect organism’: Alien and evolutionary biology
- Alien and neoliberalism, post-industrialism and the rise of multinational corporations
- Alien and artificial intelligence, cybernetic organisms, and the post-human
Oxford University Press has expressed a keen interest in producing a collection of essays based on the symposium.
We are applying for funding to facilitate postgraduate and unwaged participation.
Please send 300-word abstracts and a short biographical note to Dr Gregory Frame (firstname.lastname@example.org) by 1 January 2019.