What The Femme: I Will Survive - Virtual Class

How does female victimization onscreen impact representations of strong, independent women characters? Join pop culture analyst Dr. Allison Palumbo to discuss the woman-as-survivor identity and her role in film since the 1980s.

November 10, 2020


Seeing a male hero beaten and bloodied and driven to revenge is nothing new in popular culture—in fact, it's often expected that the hero will overcome great physical odds to achieve victory. What happens when that hero is a female who must overcome rape, domestic violence, or otherwise gendered hostility? Let's find out! This virtual class will explore the relationship between the victim and the agent, themes of female empowerment, what differentiates female victimization from torture porn, and what Jack Halberstam calls "imagined violence" and its liberating function for women onscreen and off.

Zoom meeting details will be emailed to ticket purchasers shortly before the scheduled event.



The date of this event has passed.

We will explore a number of relevant films, including: Ms. 45, Sleeping with the EnemyMurder by Numbers, Taking Lives, La Femme Nikita and its American remake Point of No Return, Red Sparrow, and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (American version). From rape revenge heroines and domestic assault avengers to spies and detectives overcoming sexism, paternalism, and abuse, we will look at a number of ways that these kick-ass women portray fantasies of survival and triumph.


Tuesday, November 10, 2020
6:30 PM - 8:30 PM
Presented via Zoom Webinar
$25 Sustainer | $15 Regular | $10 Reduced / SIFF Member
Registration fees offered at a sliding scale; proceeds support both the instructors and SIFF Education programming.


What The Femme is a SIFF Education series exploring female-representing character archetypes in cinema through analyzing the roles of women in horror, science fiction, and fantasy films. Each session will explore one character or archetype through two to three primary films, though more will be referenced. This education extension of SIFF's WTF Festival programming is curated by Colleen O'Holleran.


Dr. Allison Palumbo is a professor of English and Gender Studies at Big Bend Community College in Moses Lake, WA. Once they found out that becoming a superhero was not a career option, they developed their passion for movies, TV, and literature into teaching and writing and started a path to save the world one student at a time. Dr. Palumbo's first book, "Love and the Fighting Female: A Critical Study of Onscreen Depictions," was published by McFarland in 2020.