Haunting the National Consciousness: The Rise of Indigenous Horror

August 7 – 4PM (EDT)

Presentation by Dr Kali Simmons

In the article “The Rise of Indigenous Horror,” Haudenosaunee writer Alicia Elliott notes that “many non-Indigenous horror writers depict situations that Indigenous people have already weathered.” The recent exposure of genocidal violence against Indigenous children within the residential ''school'' programs which operated in Canada and the United States stresses the truth of this observation even more.

In this lecture, expanded from work presented at the Miskatonic Institute for Horror Studies, film scholar Dr. Kali Simmons will analyze the ways that horror has been deployed in the service of settler-colonialism as well as the ways Indigenous writers, actors, and filmmakers spoken back to these troubling stories. Works by Indigenous artists like Jeff Barnaby, Cherie Dimaline, Stephen Graham Jones, Waubgeshig Rice, Gwaii Edenshaw and Helen-Haig Brown not only challenge our notions of horror and monstrosity but ask how to live as an ethical human being in a time of catastrophic and terrifying change. Does horror have the potential to unsettle audiences in meaningful ways? Following the talk there will be a Q&A period which is open to virtual audience members.