Northampton Electronic Collection of Theses and Research

The Final Girl? Isolated heroines and the absence of female friendship in teen horror

Jowett, L. (2017) The Final Girl? Isolated heroines and the absence of female friendship in teen horror. Panel Presentation presented to: Investigating Identities in Young Adult (YA) Narratives, The University of Northampton, 13 December 2017.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Panel Presentation)
Abstract: Since its inception academic study of the horror genre has focused on issues of identity, power and gender, debating the abject, body horror, castration/ phallic symbolism, the male gaze, voyeurism, female passivity, female victimhood, women in jeopardy, female monstrosity, and heteronormativity. In this way horror, including teen, YA and children’s horror, negotiates gender and especially changing gender identities. This paper examines the way female heroes have become more prevalent, and more active, in teen horror on television, yet they still tend to operate in isolation from other girls and women. The tropes of teen TV mean that more often than not, girl heroes are in conflict with other women, whether this enacts the generational divide of teen drama, or the bitchy competition of high school cliques. Sidekicks and mentors to female teen horror heroes tend to be male, while heteronormativity generally rules romantic relationships. From Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1997-2003) to Scream (2015-) and Shadowhunters (2016-), few such series pass the Bechdel test, something this paper argues is owing to a range of factors, mainly industrial and commercial rather than creative.
Uncontrolled Keywords: Teen horror, television horror, Final Girl, gender, Bechdel test, television industry
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General) > PN1992 Television broadcasts > PN1992.8.H67 Horror television programs
Creators: Jowett, Lorna
Faculties, Divisions and Institutes: University Faculties, Divisions and Research Centres - OLD > Research Centre > Centre for Critical and Creative Writing
Faculties > Faculty of Arts, Science & Technology > Journalism, Media & Performance
Research Centres > Centre for Critical and Creative Writing
Date: 13 December 2017
Date Type: Publication
Event Title: Investigating Identities in Young Adult (YA) Narratives
Event Dates: 13 December 2017
Event Location: The University of Northampton
Event Type: Conference
Language: English
Status: Published / Disseminated
Refereed: No
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