Adolescence in Film and Television III: “Stirring the Cauldron” -Let’s Talk Through Chilling Adventures of Sabrina

Session chair: 

In the world of teen drama (or YA drama, as some prefer), there are a number of ways to represent adolescence and its attendant horrors, and we’ve seen a great deal of fantasy-based approaches; beginning with Buffy, some establish that high school is actual hell. But few series come close to Chilling Adventures of Sabrina’s devotion to that idea. The Netflix series (2018-20), based on the Archie Comics spin-off that shows a much darker version of Sabrina Spellman, may be difficult for audiences to reconcile with the last adaptation, a teen sitcom in which Sabrina’s powers get her into wacky situations and she is supported by a talking Salem the cat. However different this version of Greendale is from what we may be used to, it certainly offers much to explore, and this roundtable proposes to create a space for this. The panelists will each speak about their own individual interests in the series — particularly regarding genre, representation, and intertext — but our goal is to talk with each other and our audience about the work being done here. A few of the questions we will use to structure our discussion: What is the series’ place in the teen drama genre? How is horror deployed here? In terms of cultural work, how are gender, race, sexuality, and religion represented in the series? And finally, what are we watching for? What can we get here that we don’t get elsewhere?

Special session type: 
Round table