Welcome to the Conference: 40 Years of Alien

Thursday 23 – Friday 24 May 2019,
Pontio, Bangor University

Alien has left an indelible mark on popular culture. Conceived primarily to cash in on the popularity of science-fiction films in the late 1970s, directed by a person known for making adverts (Ridley Scott) and starring an unknown actor in the lead role (Sigourney Weaver), it transcended its humble origins to frighten and disturb audiences on its initial release. Its success has led to three direct sequels, two prequels, one ‘mashup’ franchise, a series of comic books, graphic novels, novelisations and games, and has an enormous and devoted fanbase. For forty years, Alien (and its progeny) has animated debate and discussion among critics and academics from a wide variety of disciplines and methodological perspectives.

Hosted by the Centre for Film, Television and Screen Studies at Bangor University, this symposium proposes to bring together scholars from diverse disciplinary backgrounds to explore Alien forty years since its release, debate its legacy and consider its position within visual culture. It will take place on Thursday 23 – Friday 24 May 2019 in Bangor’s Pontio Arts and Innovation Centre.

Our keynote speaker is Dr Rikke Schubart. She has written extensively on gender and genre in popular cinema, women and horror, and the action heroine. Her most recent monograph, Mastering Fear: Women, Emotions and Contemporary Horror, was published by Routledge in 2018.