Jaws, from the Shark’s Point of View

Wednesday, September 7, 2022 @ 6pm CEST

“This is the story of my death.”

How would the shark in Jaws make sense of, and respond to, the representational forms and cultural norms they are entrapped within? Would they see the story—and their role within it—in a manner akin to that the film offers to its assumed human audience? And what happens to the film, and anthropocentric understandings of it, if it is read by the eponymous shark?

“I shall tell you the story of Jaws, from my point of view.”

Brett Mills is Visiting Professor of Media and Cultural Studies at Edge Hill University, UK. He is the author of Television Sitcom (BFI, 2005), The Sitcom (Edinburgh UP, 2012), and Animals on Television: The Cultural Making of the Non-Human (Palgrave Macmillan, 2017), and co-author (with Erica Horton) of Creativity in the British Television Comedy Industry (Routledge, 2017). He is a member of the team currently undertaking two AHRC-funded projects on multispecies storytelling: “Multispecies Storytelling: More-Than-Human Narratives About Landscape” (2019-2022) and “Multisensory Multispecies Storytelling to Engage Disadvantaged Groups in Changing Landscapes” (2020-2022).

Photo of Christy Tidwell

Prehistoric Futurism

Dinosaurs, Kids, and the Future in the Jurassic Park Franchise

Thursday, September 8, 2022 @ 6pm CEST; 10am MDT

The Jurassic Park and Jurassic World movies are not only fun, action-packed dinosaur adventures; as I have argued elsewhere, they also reflect contemporary anxieties about climate change and species extinction. Here, I explore the role of children—human and otherwise—in the films’ extinction and environmental narratives. How does the presence of children enhance the anxiety we feel about the future of the human species in the Anthropocene? And how do baby dinosaurs complicate our sense of that future and humanity’s place within it? What do the films say about how we create a future through choices about reproduction and care?

Christy Tidwell is an associate professor of English & humanities at the South Dakota School of Mines & Technology. She works at the intersection of speculative fiction, environmental humanities, and gender studies. In addition to writing about ecohorror and environmental science fiction for many journals and edited collections, she is co-editor of Gender and Environment in Science Fiction (Lexington Books, 2018), Fear and Nature: Ecohorror Studies in the Anthropocene (Penn State University Press, 2021), and a special issue of Science Fiction Film & Television on creature features and the environment (vol. 14, no. 3, 2021).

Photo of Christy Tidwell