‘Final Girl’ Studies

Film Studies For Free loves plucky female film protagonists (and false protagonists, for that matter) still fighting on in there at “The End”.

It also loves Carol J. Clover’s 1987 essay ‘Her Body, Himself: Gender in the Slasher Film,’ (Representations [Number 20: Fall 1987, pp. 187-228] – later included by Clover in her hugely influential book Men, Women, and Chain Saws: Gender in the Modern Horror Film [Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press,1992]), which was the first work to coin the resonant phrase ‘Final Girl‘ to name climactic female survivors of slasher/horror/fantasy-sci-fi-horror films.

Clover’s essay asked the following, rather fascinating, question: why, in these films which are supposedly principally aimed at male spectators, are the surviving heroes so often women characters?

It’s a question that has been frequently addressed, since, in film, television, and now videogame studies, many of them freely available online. So here’s Film Studies For Free’s not-so-weak-and-feeble list of terribly-brave-and-resilient links to open-access “Final Girl” Studies, beginning with Clover’s key essay, and then proceeding in an orderly alphabetical direction, by author surname:

FSFF also highly recommends that you visit Slayage: International Journal of Buffy Studies for lots of other relevant studies.

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3 thoughts on “‘Final Girl’ Studies

  1. Catherine, I’m incredibly in awe of your obviously monumental website. It’s a wonder. And I’m so glad my considerably less academic website is included in your webroll; I’m an expert, but I don’t write like one always, so I’m overjoyed that I have a presence here. I do have one piece of advice: my computer often crashes when I visit, and I think that might be because you include too many posts on your settings. I think you need to reduce your settings to showing only 10-20 postings at a time. I’d love to visit more often, but it can often be more than my computer can chew. Would you look into this? Again, FILM STUDIES FOR FREE is a fantastic addition to the artform, and I thank you so much.

  2. Thanks Dean. Sorry to have frozen your (and anyone else’s) computer. I’ve been playing with the number of posts on the page for ages, but reduced it down again today – thanks for the tech advice which is always welcomed. I am trying to investigate ways of listing all the posts in the right hand column – this template in Blogger doesn’t appear to let me do that, but if I can find a way, I will be able to reduce the number of posts on display permanently. Film Studies For Free is meant to be a treasure trove – so a little bit ‘messy’ is OK – but the site does need to load properly! So thanks again.

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