BHSU Professor Publishes Chapter in Two-Volume Book, Attends Conference in Oxford England

Jessie Eckles, Contributing Writer

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Black Hills State University professor Dr. Laura Colmenero-Chilberg attended the 8th annual global Fear, Horror, and Terror conference in Oxford, England in early September to present her chapter that was recently published in a two-volume book.

Dr. Colmenero-Chilberg is an associate professor of Sociology at BHSU and has studied themes of fear, horror, and terror in popular culture upon earning her Ph.D. Her focus of study has been in horror and romance fiction, specifically in inequality and imagery between genders.

Dr. Colmenero-Chilberg’s chapter is entitled “Stephen King: Evil in its many forms — children beware!” It focuses on where inequality and imagery between genders descends from and was published in July of this year.

“The chapter is about a comparison, a look at traditional fairytales and some sort of the consistent themes that run throughout the original ones, not the Disney ones that we have now. And what I do is I talk about the change that has happened between original fairytales and present day and then I look at two of stephen King’s novels ‘It’ and ‘Carrie’ and identifiy what Stephen King is writing which are contemporary fairytales because they use the same kinds of characters and they have the same kinds of themes,” said Dr. Colmenero-Chilberg.

Her chapter was published in a two-volume book titled History of Evil in Popular Culture by Sharon Packer and Jody W. Pennington. The book consists of thirty-one chapters written by different authors from across the world. Examples of other titles within the book are Racist Enjoyment, Know Your Killer, Mississippi Burning, and The Devil is a Storyteller Not A Liar.

After publishing the chapter, Dr. Colmenero-Chilberg and other authors of the book were invited to present their chapters at a conference in Oxford, England in early September of this year.

“This is an unusual organization. My conference was called ‘Fear, Horror, and Terror’ and the individuals at the conference talked about fear, horror and terror in its many different forms. I talked about Stephen King and fairytales and one man who actually is from Syria has been involved in the uprisings against the Syrian government and talking about the torure that’s going on. We had someone talk about witchcraft and the use of witchcraft in Nigeria to identify people that you didn’t like and get rid of them. So, we have that kind of terror,” said Dr. Colmenero-Chilberg.

The conference invited individuals from all over the world to present research and share stories related to the themes of fear, horror, and terror.

“You present your paper but you also have your in-depth discussions with an International group of Scholars. There were only two other Americans there. Everybody else was from africa, the Far East, Australia, New Zealand, England, and then of course European countries,” said Dr. Colmenero-Chilberg.

Dr. Colmenero-Chilberg has attended other kinds of conferences in the United States and in Europe, but stated the Fear, Horror, and Terror conference in Oxford was by far the most interesting one that she had ever attended.

“It was fascinating. It was the very best conference that I have ever been to. I’ve been to a couple of other kinds of conferences [in Europe]. I was at Cambridge a year ago and I’ve gone to Oxford twice before for different kinds of conferences. This was the best in both the United States and International,” said Dr. Colmenero-Chilberg.

Students and the general public can gain access to the two-volume book by either purchasing it online at Amazon.com or by renting a copy directly from Dr. Colmenero-Chilberg.

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