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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 Cinema, 1996-2018

This PhD thesis examines how women and gay men are invited to watch contemporary slasher film and television texts in similar ways, identifying with characters and narratives in accordance to their cultural experiences. This suggests that spectatorship is not necessarily determined by gendered and sexual identity, as film theory assumes. Rather, spectatorship is influenced by the heteropatriarchal discourse that dictates the cultural experiences of women and gay men. Here, the thesis develops a conceptual framework that enhances the criticism of slasher cinema via feminist and queer theory, demonstrating how gay male audiences might identify with female characters.

Research Area

  • Media


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/.


'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)


  • British Association of Film, Television and Screen Studies