Student Profile

Olivia Hopkins

Degree

Doctor of Philosophy

Thesis Title

The Idea of the South in the Modern US Horror Film in the Post-Hays Code Period (1969-present)

Supervisors

Bruce Isaacs
Associate Supervisor - Sarah Gleeson-White (English department)

Thesis Abstract

My thesis deals with the depiction of the US Southern imaginary in modern American horror film in the post-Hays Code era, from 1969 to the present day. Drawing on the work of Jennifer Greeson and Tara McPherson, among others, I explore the way that the South has continually been treated as a quasi-imperial possession and 'internal Other' for the United States as a whole, and the role of film in perpetuating negative Southern stereotypes, including the ideas of white trash and the monstrous rural. The chapters of my work expand upon these ideas and the ways that they are explored through the tropes of cannibalism and religion, as well as figurations of the queer and abject.

Professional and/or Community Engagement

Speaking role as ‘Tabitha’, Dark Room (Tom Waters, 2009)
Private high school film, drama and English tutor, 2010 – present
Film lecturer and tutor for Hale & Fun, an educational program for the elderly, 2011 - present
Sessional tutor/teaching assistant for AMST1001 Global America at the United States Studies Centre, University of Sydney, Semester 2 2013

Conference Presentations

  • Horror, the Queer, and the Abject in "Dead Birds", Contemporary Horrors: Destabilising a Cinematic Genre, 25-26 April 2014
  • Welcome to Our Nightmare… Hangover: Horror Area panel on Karen Black's Trilogy of Terror, 44th Annual Conference of the Popular Culture Association and American Culture Association, 16-19 April 2014
  • "I Told You I Wanted a Black One This Time": Hoodoo, Race and the South in "The Skeleton Key", 44th Annual Conference of the Popular Culture Association and American Culture Association, 16-19 April 2014
  • White Trash and the US South in Rob Schmidt's "Wrong Turn", Popular Culture Association of Australia and New Zealand 4th Annual International Conference, 24-26 June 2013
  • "Why Do You Come on These Trips with Me, Ed?": Homosexuality as Demon in the Modern Single-Sex Southern Horror/Thriller Film, 43rd Annual Conference of the Popular Culture Association and American Culture Association, 27-30 March 2013

Favourite Films

The Rocky Horror Picture Show (Jim Sharman, 1975)
Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (Gore Verbinski, 2003)
Monster (Patty Jenkins, 2003)