We Are Still Here: The Future of Horror in Contemporary Poetics

As Julia Kristeva writes in her 1982 text Powers of Horror, “Abjection [arises from] what disturbs identity, system, order. What does not respect borders, positions, rules. The in-between, the ambiguous, the composite.” The ‘horrific’ has long ago established itself as an artistic mode of protest. It has infiltrated & infested our structural systems of power; to this end, much has been written regarding the myriad ways filmic & literary horror has positioned itself as a form of resistance, an expression of anxieties toward what the world has (usually erroneously) defined as “progress.” If studied in this vein, horror may seem to have run its course – how can a genre whose motives have been so extensively defined continue to subvert, disturb, & shock? In this panel, we aim to address this question, by way of critical & creative inquiry into the future of horror. We will investigate & interrogate the ways contemporary horror has shifted its focus from external power structures toward more insidious hierarchies – those embedded within our individual & cultural assumptions about race, gender, class, mental health, & language itself. We will interlace poetry, visual art, & critical work on the contemporary horrific in order to examine the current & future relevance of horror: what it is doing & what it can still do.

With Maggie Woodward, Marty Cain, Claire Cronin, Jacob Brooks, and Paul Cunningham


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New Orleans Healing Center Room 2