Sex, Scandal and Sensation | Dark Economies Conference

Date of event:
The event will be held between: This is a three-day conference beginning on 2 July and ending on 4 July.
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Exterior of Falmouth campus design building.

About the event

In 2014, Falmouth University hosted the hugely successful Haunted Landscapes conference, which was followed in 2023 by Haunted Landscapes: Nature, Super-Nature, and Global EnvironmentsSex, Scandal, and Sensation is the third conference in this series. It will, like its predecessors, be held in beautiful Cornwall on the Falmouth Campus amidst lush tropical gardens, only a short walk from the picturesque town and its beaches.

Sex, Scandal, and Sensation is an interdisciplinary and global exploration of the role and impact of the sensational, the scandalous, and the sexual in literature, film, television, gaming, and other forms of cultural production. The conference is dedicated to the discussion of a broad range of genres and sub-genres, including Sensation Fiction and the Sensational Press; Crime Fiction and True Crime narratives; Shilling Shockers, Penny Dreadfuls and the Pulps; Romance, Erotica, and Pornographies; the Gothic in both traditional and modern forms; Thrillers on both page and screen; Bestsellers, Blockbusters, and Bonkbusters; Horror novels and films; Soap Operas and Shocking Theatre; RPG and Digital storytelling; and other genres and forms that both rely on the scandal, sensation, and sex for their effects, and explore its effects on us.

Taking place in the bicentenary of the birth of Wilkie Collins, the godfather of Sensation Fiction, and amidst Simon & Schuster’s ongoing reissue of the entire catalogue of the so-called ‘Queen of Trash’ and powerful feminist icon Jackie Collins, this conference celebrates, exposes, and interrogates the boundaries and depths of popular, and not so popular, culture and real-world events. We will be thinking and talking about affect and its effects, about public outrage and private shame, about censorship and permissiveness, about lawsuits and love affairs, about the market and its imperatives, about aesthetics and morality, and all of this across a wide range of disciplines, mediums, time periods, and texts.

We hope you will join us for the exciting event, which will bring together scholars, researchers, students, and enthusiasts to share their research, insights, and perspectives in an open and inclusive atmosphere. 

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