Queen's Film and Media

Film and Media Studies
Film and Media Studies
Dan Vena Photo

Dan Vena

Adjunct Assistant Professor
Film and Media

Dan Vena is a SSHRC Postdoctoral Fellow at Carleton University and holds a doctorate in Cultural Studies from Queen’s University, where he teaches in Film & Media. He locates his academic interests within the spheres of visual and popular cultures, merging together trans, queer, and feminist approaches to an array of topics including: monsters and horror cinema; Classical Hollywood Cinema; comic book superheroes; and histories of medicine.

Examining what he calls, ‘the new wave of woman’s horror,’ his doctoral dissertation revisits classical feminist studies in horror cinema in relation to the recent surge of women directors working within the genre. Reading this body of literature in relation to four case studies, he argues that this new wave re-appropriates the genre's traditional affects of fear and terror to construct a tenable subject position for the female spectator. 

For his postdoctoral studies, he explores the relationships between medical horror cinema and changing approaches to gender confirmation surgeries. While scholars have considered horror films as an expression of “queer” experience, this study is the first to re-read medical horror cinema through the histories of surgical modification and shifting understandings of transgender identity.

Select Publications Include:

Vena, D. In Press. “The Outing of Superman, Or, How I Learned to Love Bizarro as a Trans Monster.” The Dark Side: A Supervillain Reader. Edited by Robert Peaslee and Robert Weiner. Jackson: University of Mississippi Press.

Fazekas, Angie and Dan Vena. In Press. “‘What were we -- idiots?’: Re-evaluating Female Spectatorship in Horror Cinema with Catherine Hardwicke’s Twilight (2008).” Untitled Carol Clover Anthology. Edited by Stacy Rusnak and Katarzyna Paszkiewicz. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.

McDonald, Robin Alex and Dan Vena. 2018. “‘You’re saying that’s a real person...underneath?’: The Horrors of Inorganic in Jaume Collet-Serra’s House of Wax (2005).” Graduate Journal for Social Studies. 163-177.

Vena, D. 2017. “Reading Superman as a Trans f/man.” Transformative Works and Culture. 25 (Sept 15). N.pg.

Vena, D. 2016. “How to Build a Transsexual Superman: A ‘Reading-Together’ of Superman’s Emergence Alongside Histories of Eugenic Science and Gender Confirmation Surgeries.” Studies in the Fantastic. 4 (Winter/Spring). 1-23.

Vena, D. 2014. “The Performance”. In Manning Up: Transsexual Men on Finding Brotherhood, Family & Themselves. Edited by Zander Keig and Mitch Kellaway. Oakland, California: Transgress Press.