WORKS IN PROGRESS:
“Tearing Down Tradition’s Walls: Memory, Tradition, and Two Versions of Shakespeare.” [Book Chapter]
In two versions of William Shakespeare’s Titus Andronicus—Shakespeare’s own, from the late sixteenth century, and Julie Taymor’s screen adaptation, Titus, from the late twentieth century—memory and disillusionment play a vital role. My essay explores how an essential feature of both texts is the backward-looking context and symbolic presence of memory, embodied in Shakespeare’s language and in his title character, and represented visually in Taymor’s fusion of historical styles, imagery, and the decrepit landmarks in her 1999 film. Though as readers and viewers we must encounter each text differently, the links to our own global, political, and economic contexts mean that the presence of memory cannot be overlooked.
"WHO ARE WE? Identification, Gender Confusion, and the Final Girl in Alexander Aja’s High Tension" [Journal Article/Book Chapter]
Alexandre Aja’s 2003 slasher film, High Tension, invokes many cultural shifts that have impacted this horror subgenre in the thirty years since the initial publication of Carol Clover's landmark essay, “Her Body, Himself”. A Psycho-type slasher that capitalizes on the sexual frustration and gender fluidity Clover identifies in the figures of the Killer and the Final Girl, High Tension confuses these classifications, reading in some aspects as a progressive representation of non-normative sexualities, and in others as a conservative condemnation of those same values. Aja’s film moves to revise and re-interpret the assertions of “Her Body, Himself” to coincide with more inclusive gender norms, yet manipulates audience identification to throw sympathies into question.
"Don’t Go to the Bathroom in the Overlook Hotel: The Intimate Site of Terror in Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining" [Journal Article]
Special attention should be paid to the bathrooms of The Shining’s Overlook Hotel as some of the most iconic and widely known settings in auteur director Stanley Kubrick’s body of work. Due to its influence in thriller and horror cinema, The Shining is, perhaps, one of the best examples of the type of interiority Kubrick asks his audiences to confront in his films. Examining in depth the bathrooms in The Shining and their connection to Danny Torrance, Jack Torrance, and Wendy Torrance, this essay traces a portrait of a family not only under siege from the hostile and sentient setting itself, but also of their own, internal demons: fear of the unknown, specters of repressed sexuality and rage, and the terror of the abusive relationship.
The Frozen Woman [Fiction]
I was nine the winter they pulled the frozen woman from the pond. I was never meant to see her, but you know children rarely stay in place when they are told to. When I saw the men gathered at the water, their footprints making dark impressions in the snow on the shore, I ran without my coat from our house up on the hill, nearly falling twice as I went. I would have rolled the rest of the way had I tripped, and most likely ended up lying in the snow next to the frozen woman, a pair of angels laid out on the crusty ground. As it was I arrived in time to bump into the back of my father’s legs just as three of the other men straightened from the effort of dragging her from the water. I had never seen a dead person before. She did not appear as if she were sleeping.
The Cure for Death [Short Film]
An adaptation of the short story, "The Cure ForDeath" by Jeff Willoughby, production of this film is generously supported by Susquehanna University's Committee for Faculty Scholarship. Principal photography begins February 1st, 2017.