BAFTSS Horror Studies SIG
No Return: A Yellowjackets Symposium
Saturday 18th June 2022 / online
Organisers: Dr Miranda Corcoran (University College Cork), Dr Lindsay Hallam (University of East London), Dr Shellie McMurdo (University of Hertfordshire), Dr Laura Mee (University of Hertfordshire)
Since debuting on November 14, 2021, the Showtime series Yellowjackets has become one of the most widely discussed shows in recent years. Fans have created social media accounts and lengthy Reddit threads to share theories about the plot, characters and the series’ often ambiguous symbolism, while at least four different podcasts regularly recap individual episodes. It is hardly surprising that Yellowjackets should promote such passionate discussion; the series combines elements of drama, horror and black comedy with a gripping central mystery. Unfolding across two timelines, Yellowjackets tells the story of a high-school girls soccer team forced to survive for nineteen months in the Canadian wilderness after their plane crashes on the way to a national tournament in 1996. The show also follows the survivors of that ordeal twenty-five years later, in 2021, as they attempt to navigate adulthood, relationships and everyday life while carrying with them the knowledge of what they did to survive. Yellowjackets has been praised by critics for its treatment of trauma, girlhood and queer relationships. Likewise, it has attracted much attention for its bold reworking of William Golding's Lord of the Flies, its unflinching depiction of violence and its unique take on folk horror conventions.
This one-day symposium explored Yellowjackets’ genre, production and reception contexts, and addressed the series’ themes, representation, aesthetic and narrative features.
Schedule and Programme
Panel 1 - Music and Mystery: TV Conventions and Aesthetics
Panel 2 - Hungry Folk: Ferality, Genre and Gender
Panel 3 - Survivor Girls: Trauma, Time and Memory
Panel 4 - "Same as you": Confession, Perception and Identity