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Panel on Popular Culture: Gender in Horror Films

Fall 2014 Panel on Popular Culture

Gender and Horror Films
October 30th, 2014
Sage 1216, 6:00PM-7:30PM

Join the Women's Center for their series of panels on popular culture. Fall 2014 brings us to a discussion of Women in Horror Films. Join us for this panel on popular culture as we debate and discuss the role that popular culture has in our lives. 

Panelists: John Pata, Ashley Lamers, Aaron Jackson, and Brian Kirst.

 Facilitator: Dr. Susan Rensing

Brian Kirst escaped the Amish laced confines of Western New York to unleash Big Gay Horror Fan upon the world. As an entity, Big Gay Horror Fan was directly inspired by the new crop of passionate female filmmakers and fans, many interviewed by Kirst during his stint as the host of Horror Society Live, a weekly radio show. Previously, Kirst’s muses were the passionate sirens of the Riot Grrl movement, who influenced his theatrical career in the 90s in Chicago. They helped him produce such award winning shows as Perished, a document about child abuse and Masks, which chronicled the adventures of a female wrestler. In addition to his enjoyable duties as BGHF, Kirst is, currently, the Theater Editor of Sheridan Road Magazine, a North Shore women’s periodical. Links for Big Gay Horror Fan: OR

John Pata is an independent filmmaker and Oshkosh, WI native, and darn proud of it. Upon graduating from UWO in 2007 with a degree in Graphic Design, he quickly emerged himself into the world of independent horror, as you do. Pata co-wrote/directed the Rondo-nominated, award-winning survival horror/post-apocalyptic love story Dead Weight, which received North American distribution by Kino Lorber / Horizon Movies in January 2014. His latest short film, Pity, about one individual's inability to overcome the emotions of a recent breakup, is currently making the rounds in the film festival circuit. Outside of filmmaking, Pata's been organizing horror-related events, including the annual Oshkosh Horror Film Festival, under the pseudonym Oshkosh Horror for over eight years, and is president of the volunteer-based, non-profit Time Community Theater. He rides his bike too much, enjoys listening to punk rock records when reading his comic books, always drinks iced tea, and never gets his fill of veggie burritos. 

Aaron Jackson is an U.S Army veteran and a current student at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh. Where he is pursuing a double major in Criminal Justice, Sociology and a triple minor in Spanish, Psychology and he just completed his minor in African American Studies. Jackson also is the president of Omega Delta Phi and a proud member of Big Brothers Big Sisters. He also works with the Veterans Resource Center (V.R.C), were he has put in place a Veteran newspaper called the Vet Gazette and a weight loss program called Operation Belly Burn (O.B.B).
Outside of school Jackson has spoke on multiple boards and committees about race and discrimination. Also Jackson is a vigorous movie watcher/collector and has a particular way of unraveling movie scenes, especially horror movies.    

Ashley Lamers is a 2012 graduate from UW-Oshkosh with a bachelor’s degree in Women’s Studies. Her academic and activist focus has been directed toward sex-positive feminism, women’s sexual and personal empowerment, victim advocacy, and the pursuit of creating safe spaces and positive, interconnected communities. She is currently employed with the Wisconsin Department of Corrections at Oshkosh Correctional Institution as an Offender Records Assistant. In her real life, she is a straight edge, vegetarian, cat enthusiast who enjoys good conversations, drawing, dancing and/or rocking out (especially to hardcore and new wave music), watching movies (especially horror movies and movies that feature Patrick Swayze), and spending downtime with friends and family.

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