My Girlfriend is a Serial Killer (2019)
Still from My Girlfriend Is A Serial Killer (2019) Presidio

ACMI, Swinburne University of Technology & University of Pittsburgh present

Mapping Global Horror: Australia, Japan & beyond

Unclassified (15+)

This event has ended and tickets are no longer available.









17–18 Mar 2023

Fri 17 Mar 10am – 4pm, Sat 18 Mar 10am – 5.30pm

Join world-leading scholars and filmmakers for a two-day conference exploring the horror genre as a historical and contemporary phenomenon.

The living dead are still walking – and their stage is now truly global. In recent years, global horror has evolved with such speed, complexity, and diversity that we must now find new ways to map it. George A. Romero’s revolutionary series of zombie films began with Night of the Living Dead in 1968, and in recent times has inspired films as varied as Australia’s Cargo (2017) and Japan’s One Cut of the Dead (2017). With the George A. Romero Collection as the founding acquisition of the University of Pittsburgh’s Horror Studies Archive, the stage has been set for a new mapping of global horror studies.

What do these networks of global exchange and influence tell us about the nature of the horror genre and how it is changing in today’s media landscape? With Australian and Japanese horror as entry points, this two-day conference will bring together academics, researchers and directors to explore folk horror, women in horror, local/global horror cultures and how horror is archived, produced, distributed, and consumed in the 21st century.

Conference Organising committee: Dr Jessica Balanzategui (RMIT University), Dr Andrew Lynch (Swinburne University of Technology), Professor Angela Ndalianis (Swinburne University of Technology), A/Professor Charles Exley (University of Pittsburgh), Professor Adam Lowenstein (University of Pittsburgh)

Major Academic Partner

Major Research Partner

Proudly co-presented by


Unclassified (15+)


Swinburne Studio, Level 1
ACMI, Fed Square

How to get there


Day 1 – Fri 17 Mar

10–11.30am Women in Horror: Japan, Australia and Beyond

  • Chair: Charles Exley (University of Pittsburgh)
  • Alexandra Heller-Nicholas (Deakin University)
    • 'Writing 1000 Women in Horror and the Popular Reception of Alternate Histories'
  • Chika Kinoshita (Kyoto University)
    • 'The Fetus and the Horror of Motherhood'
  • Charles Exley (University of Pittsburgh)
    • 'Contextualising the Cinema of Kayoko Asakura'
  • Claire Henry (Flinders University)
    • 'Surrealist aesthetics in female-directed horror'

11.30am – 12pm Coffee break

12–1.30pm George A. Romero’s Impact on Global Horror

  • Chair: Adam Lowenstein (University of Pittsburgh)
  • Angela Ndalianis (Swinburne University of Technology)
    • 'Zombies, Pandemics, and the Social Imaginary'
  • Adam Lowenstein (University of Pittsburgh)
    • 'Horror and Aging in Relic and The Amusement Park'
  • Ben Rubin (University of Pittsburgh)
    • Video introduction to George A. Romero Archival Collection (12 mins)
  • Screening of Romero’s Elegy (George A. Romero, 1963, 21 mins)

1.30–2.30pm Lunch

2.30–4pm Folk Horror as Global Horror

  • Chair: Jessica Balanzategui (RMIT University) and Allison Craven (James Cook University)
    • 'The Folk Horror Feeling: Monstrous Modalities and the Critical Occult'
  • Bliss Cua Lim (University of Toronto)
    • 'Folk horror in an Asian context'
  • Akira Lippit (University of Southern California)
    • 'Forms of Solitude: Ultraviolence and Extreme Lonliness'
  • Saige Walton (University of South Australia)
    • 'Black Flower's Blooming in Matters Darkness: the Bachelardian Imagination of Folk/Horror in Alex Garland's Men'

4–6pm Break

6pm In Conversation with Natalie Erika James
(Ticketed separately. To book
visit the Relic screening page.)

  • Screening of Relic (Natalie Erika James, 2020, 89 mins)
    • (Introduction by Alexandra Heller-Nicholas [Deakin University])
    • Q&A following screening

Day 2 – Sat 18 Mar

10–11.30am Roundtable: Streaming Genre and Horror

  • Chair: Andrew Lynch (Swinburne University of Technology)
  • Alexa Scarlata (RMIT University)
  • Andrew Lynch (Swinburne University of Technology)
  • Jessica Balanzategui (RMIT University)
  • Mark David Ryan (Queensland University of Technology)

11.30am – 12pm Coffee break

12–1.30pm Roundtable: Filmmakers on Horror

  • Chair: Adam Daniel (AFTRS)
  • Kayoko Asakura
  • Natalie Erika James
  • Isabel Peppard
  • Caitlin Koller

1.30–2.30pm Lunch

2.30–3.30pm Roundtable: Horror Exhibition and Festivals

  • Co-chairs: Jessica Balanzategui (RMIT University) and Angela Ndalianis (Swinburne University of Technology)
  • Grant Hardie (Convenor of Monster Fest)
  • Hudson Sowada (Convenor of Fantastic Film Festival Australia)
  • Lee Gambin (Cinemaniacs)
  • Briony Kidd (Stranger With My Face International Film Festival)

4–5.30pm Roundtable: Mapping Global Horror

  • Co-chairs: Adam Lowenstein (University of Pittsburgh) and Angela Ndalianis (Swinburne University of Technology)
  • Akira Lippit (University of Southern California)
  • Chika Kinoshita (Kyoto University)
  • Bliss Lim (University of Toronto)
  • Stacey Abbott (Roehampton University)
  • Kris Woofter (Dawson College, Montreal)

5.30pm–8pm Break

8pm In Conversation with Kayako Asakura

Stories & Ideas

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