Caitlyn Turner headshot

During the Spring Quarter, FMS Major Caitlyn Turner participated in an independent research study under the supervision of Professor Mimura exploring women in horror films. Through her research, she explores themes of female anxieties, gender relations, power dynamics, female empowerment, and victimization.

  1. What is my research topic?
    1. “My research topic has been an analysis of how women are depicted in film specifically through the horror/psychological genre.”
  2. What research questions did you explore?
    1. “Some of the research questions I am exploring include the following: 
      • How have the archetypes of female characters in horror films evolved? 
      • What are the defining characteristics of these archetypes, and how do they reflect societal attitudes towards women? 
      • How do horror films reinforce or challenge traditional gender roles and power dynamics? 
      • What role does gender play in determining who becomes the victim versus the aggressor in horror narratives? 
      • How is the female body utilized as a symbol of abjection, anxiety, and fear? 
      • What can these images reveal about the ways we think, feel, and view women in the real world? 
      • How does film reinforce or collapse ideas about gender and sexuality?”
  3. What sparked your interest in your chosen academic area?
    1. “Given my choice of major and fascination with film, delving into film research felt like a natural choice. However, finding the specific disciplines I wished to explore proved to be challenging. Throughout my film classes at UCI, I always found myself gravitating toward feminist perspectives and theories, so I decided to take a couple of gender and sexuality courses which have broadened my horizons greatly. Soon enough, the content I was learning in my GSS classes was beginning to bleed into my film classes. I became fond of the depiction and engagement of women in film, so I wanted to pursue this area of analysis even further.”
  4. How is it working with your faculty advisor?
    1. “Working with my faculty advisor has been great! Professor Mimura is very knowledgeable in film studies and I admire his patience and grace when working with me. He was my professor winter quarter and I enjoyed his chosen material and accompanying lectures. His class was always easygoing and the open discussion format that he implemented benefited my learning greatly. For these reasons, I asked him to be my advisor and he has provided me with valuable advice and scholarly commentary.”
Film and Media Studies