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Daniel Sheppard

Media, Birmingham City University

Thesis title:

Gays, Women and Chainsaws: Queer Approaches to Characterisation and Identification in Contemporary Slasher Film and Television, 1996-2019

Drawing on the contemporary slasher subgenre, this doctoral thesis examines gay male screenwriters working in Hollywood and their scripting of heterocentric narratives that erase LGBTQ+ representation. While their film and television shows are often approached in heteropatriarchal terms, which has gentrified gay histories of mainstream production, the thesis argues that these texts critique heteronormative ideology through camp, thereby encouraging queer positionalities.

Research Area

  • Media


Sheppard, D. and Previtali, G. (2022) Queer Bodies and the Death Drive: Gender and Sexuality in Italian Giallo. In: G. Gergely and S. Hayward (eds.) The Routledge Companion to European Cinema. London and New York, NY: Routledge, pp. 428-436.

Sheppard, D. (2021) Queer Fears: A One Day Symposium on New Queer Horror Film and Television – Conference Report. Fantastika Journal, 5(1), pp. 154-157. Available from https://fantastikajournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/05/Fantastika-Journal-Volume-5-Issue-1.pdf.

Sheppard, D. (2020) Serial Killers: Bates Motel (Ehrin, 2013-2017) – The Queer Monster. In: S. Bacon (ed.) Monsters: A Companion. Oxford: Peter Lang, pp. 175-181.

Sheppard, D. (2019) An ‘alarming cautionary tale’: Castrating the Faux Feminism of Teeth (2007). Screening Sex. Available from https://screeningsex.com/2019/01/11/an-alarming-cautionary-tale-castrating-the-faux-feminism-of-teeth-2007/.

Sheppard, D. (2018) Sleepaway Camp and the Transgressive Possibilities of Queer Spectatorship. Horror Homeroom. Available from http://www.horrorhomeroom.com/sleepaway-camp-and-the-transgressive-possibilities-of-queer-spectatorship/.


Invited Speaker: 'Hyperpostmodern or Just Plain Camp? A Revisionist History of the Contemporary Teen Slasher Film' Miskatonic Institute of Horror Studies, London (11 January 2022)

'"It's Political Correctness Gone Psycho!" Reimagining the Queer Monster in Bates Motel– Cine-Excess 14: Representations as Weapons – Cult Film and the Politics of Resistance, Birmingham City University (4-8 November 2020)

Invited Speaker: 'Queer Fears: Network Screening and Roundtable Discussion of Knife+Heart (2018)' – Gender Studies Film Club, University of Stirling (16 July 2020)

'Sex and Death in the Gay Slasher Film: or, When Fisting Goes Wrong' – Cine-Excess 13: Independent Visions of Excess, Birmingham City University (7-9 November 2019)

Theory in the Flesh: The Babadook and New Realisations of the Monster Queer’ – Queer Fears: A One Day Symposium on New Queer Horror Film and Television, University of Hertfordshire (28 June 2019)

‘Gays, Women, and Chainsaws: Queer Perspectives on North American Slasher Cinema’ – Fear 2000: Contemporary Horror Worldwide, Sheffield Hallam University (1-2 June 2019)

‘His Body, Himself: Mark Patton and the Performance of Heterosexuality in A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge (1985)’ – Cine-Excess XII: I Know What You Starred In Last Summer – Global Perspectives on Cult Performance, Birmingham City University (8-10 November 2018)

‘Dressed to Transgress: Reclaiming the Queer Monster in Horror Cinema’ – Critically Queer Symposium, University of East Anglia (30 April 2018)

‘Theory in the Flesh: The Babadook and New Realisations of the Monster Queer’ – Fear 2000: Horror Media Now, Sheffield Hallam University (6-7 April 2018)

‘AIDS and Other Killers: Queer Villainy in 1980s Slasher Cinema’ – Cine-Excess XI: Fear and the Unfamiliar – Wrong Time, Wrong Place, Wrong Crowd, Birmingham City University (9-11 November 2017)

‘Diane Keaton: Stardom, Sexuality and Agency in Annie Hall and Looking for Mr Goodbar’ – Remembering Annie Hall: A One-Day Conference, University of Sheffield (31 May 2017)

Public Engagement & Impact

Invited Speaker: 'Screening and Discussion of Scream (2022)' – Edison Filmhub, Prague, CZ (14 January 2022)

Invited Speaker: 'Discussion of Scream (2022) on John Fox' – BBC Radio WM, Birmingham (14 January 2022)

Article: Mendik, X. and Sheppard, D. (2022) Why Slasher Films Refuse to Die: 8 Great Movies in the Genre. Top 10 Films, 14 January. Available from https://www.top10films.co.uk/69625-why-slasher-films-refuse-to-die-8-great-stalk-slash-movies/.


British Association of Film, Television and Screen Studies

Society for Cinema and Media Studies

Current Activity