Last Symposium Standing: Interdisciplinary Symposium on Survival Media

Since the early 2000s, a wide range of ‘survival’ media has been created, watched, played and explored. Alongside the rise in the production of survival media, this popularity is evidenced by the prevalence of survival narratives in more traditionally established genres such as horror, disaster and thrillers.

From reality TV shows like Survivor to video games such as The Long Dark, from advertising to films such as Trapped and 127 Hours, this symposium explores what can be learnt from examining these narratives which foreground human survival. What does the popularity of survival narratives in contemporary media tell us about the realities and concerns of individual and collective survival across the world? Positioning survival media as a 21st century global phenomenon, how can we understand the challenges of our survival in the contemporary world, such as climate change, by exploring the landscapes and terrains imagined by survival media?

This symposium aims to engage with these questions and bring together all who are working on survival media across the disciplines. Invited works on survival films, reality and fictional television, literature, video games and advertising will be shared in this day-long event hosted by the Department of Film Studies. There will also be a survival media-themed activity followed by a plenary Q&A.

The symposium is designed to facilitate discussion on this engaging topic, aid interdisciplinary PG networking, and provoke new questions on the notion of ‘survival’. ​

For more information and details on paper topics being invited by the Department, contact Cassice Last ( or Shruti Narayanswamy ( ​

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