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The Hawkeye

The Student News Site of University of Louisiana Monroe

The Hawkeye

The Student News Site of University of Louisiana Monroe

The Hawkeye

Horror in Humanities celebrates Halloween

ULM English Department

The School of Humanities kicked off the grand finale of its Horror in Humanities series in Walker Hall on Tuesday night. English professors Jaleesa Harris and Vanelis Rivera, along with film producer Josh Madden, presented about the different horror in films. The presentations focused on different horror movies.  

 The night began with Rivera presenting the horror film “Midsommar.” The film follows Dani as she visits a rural Swedish community with her toxic boyfriend. The ending of “Midsommar” results in Dani’s boyfriend being burned alive while she silently smiles.  

While the fate of Dani’s boyfriend seems horrifying, most audience members would consider it a happy ending. Rivera’s presentation examines the audience’s reactions to such a gruesome scene.  

“If this is a revenge fantasy, are we applauding her by being happy at this?” Rivera said. 

Next, Jaleesa Harris educated the audience about the differences between Blacks in horror and Black horror.  

Blacks in horror refers to the trope in horror movies where the Black character is the first to die. Black horror shows real problems and social misconceptions experienced by African Americans. Examples of Black horror in film include Jordan Peele’s “Us,” “Get Out” and “Nope.” 

Josh Madden ended the presentations by discussing the classic horror film “Jaws.” His presentation titled “What is Lying Underneath?” examined the horror of the unknown. 

Madden explains that you never actually seen the killing happen, and you hardly see the shark.  The audience anxiously anticipates where and when the shark will strike next.  

Throughout October, the School of Humanities sponsored a variety of different workshops, presentations and panels.  

Rivera created a flash fiction writing workshop and contest, where students twisted fairytales into horror stories. Harris’s Shakespearean Tragedies class joined a Q&A panel that delved into what is considered a tragedy.  

Angel Szeto, an English graduate student, collaborated with Eva Hosking to research the role of femininity in “Jennifer’s Body.” 

“We hope that we were able to bring to light those issues for people who aren’t familiar with the movie or want to revisit it through a new lens,” Szeto said.  

Harris, who worked with the School of Humanities to create the series, wanted to celebrate Halloween in a casual, yet educational way.  

 “We wanted to do a series in October to bring students in outside of the classroom space that’s fun and also informative,” Harris said. 

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