Dan Vena Headshot

Dan Vena

Adjunct Assistant Professor

Film and Media


533-6000 #77385

Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts

People Directory Affiliation Category

I am a queer-trans white settler of Italian descent, who experiences his body as less than able (especially in relation to capitalist calls of productivity). I am also radically invested in spirituality and death positivity as part of my pedagogical practice and am committed to decolonial, anti-racist, queer-trans, disabled, anti-capitalist & neurodivergent collaborative world-making. 

Academic Training:

Postdoctoral Fellowship, Carleton University (SSHRC funded)

Ph.D, Queen’s University (Vanier CGS and OGS Funded)

Additional Training:

Death Doula (Alua Arthur, Going with Grace)

Academic Interests and Hobbies:

Visual and popular cultures; genre cinemas; horror films & monster movies; feminist-queer-trans histories of Classical Hollywood; fan-based reading practices; superhero comic books (DC only); histories of Eugenic medicine and criminality in the West; curricular design and pedagogical strategies.

Selection of Past and Current Courses:

FILM 110: Film Media and Screen Cultures

FILM 206: Research, Writing and Presentation Methods

FILM 210: The Horror Film

FILM 218: Post-1960 Film & Media History and Theory

FILM 225: The Comedy Film

FILM 331: Women and Film

FILM 332: Queer Cinemas

FILM 435: Culture and Representation: The Figure of the Witch in Popular Culture

Current Projects:

No More Chain Saws: Feminist Criticism and the New Wave of Women’s Horror Cinema. Contracted by Rutgers University Press. Forthcoming.

de Szegheo Lang, Tamara, Emily Pelstring, and Dan Vena, eds.  “The Witch Institute,” PUBLIC Journal. Issue #69. Forthcoming.

Past Projects:

The Witch Institute: A Virtual Gathering (Queen’s University). Co-organized with Emily Pelstring and Dr. Tamara de Szegheo Lang. August 16-22, 2021. www.witchinstitute.com (SSHRC - Funded)

Selection of Published Work:

With Nael Bhanji, eds. “Teaching Dossier on Trans Media Pedagogy.” Journal of Cinema and Media Studies, vol. 61, no. 7, 2022. Online, open access.

With Courchesne, Jade. “Chocolate Babies: The Utopic Potential of Queer-Trans Death Care.” In Media Res. 2 Mar 2023. Online, open access.

With Sarah Woodstock. “Classifying Dahmer: Protecting Netflix’s Homornormative Canon.” Over*Flow, Flow. 27 Jan 2023. Online, open access.

 “MonsterDykë.” Monstrum – Special Issue: Short-Form Horror: History, Pedagogy, Practice, vol. 5, no. 2, 2023, pp.180-184. 2023. Online, open access.

With Sarah Woodstock. “Born Queer, Made Evil? Examining ‘Discovery’ and ‘Construction’ as Competing Methodologies of True Crime.” Crime Fiction Studies, vol. 3, no. 1, 2022, pp.42-58.

With Islay Burgess. "The New Border War? An Intergenerational Exchange on Bad Trans Horror Objects." In-Focus Section edited by Laura Horak and Cael Keegan. Journal of Cinema and Media Studies, vol.61, no.2, 2022, pp.188-193.

With Iris Robinson and Sarah Woodstock. “His Canon, Herself: Teaching Horror as Feminist Cinema.” Bloody Women! Women Horror Directors. Edited by Victoria McCollum and Aislinn Clarke. Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield, 2022, pp.213-230.

With Angie Fazekas. "What were we.. idiots? Re-evaluating Female Spectatorship in Horror Cinema with Catherine Hardwicke's Twilight (2008). Final Girls, Feminism, and Popular Culture. Edited by Stacy Rusnak and Katarzyna Paskiewicz. Palgrave Macmillan, 2020, pp.229-246.

With Robin McDonald. "You're saying that's a real person...underneath? The Horrors of the Inorganic in Jaume Collet-Serra's House of Wax (2005).” Graduate Journal for Social Studies, vol.14, no.2, 2018. Online, open access.

"The (Super)Man Complex: Re-Reading Superman as a Trans F/Man.” Transformative Works and Cultures, vol.25, 2017. Online, open access.

University and Community Involvement: Guest panelist for Queen’s School of Medicine on queer-trans health care practices; frequent collaborator with Dr. Caroline Pukall (Department of Psychology); invited guest speaker at St. Lawrence College by Rachel Dutcher; volunteer Film instructor at Seniors Kingston and Royale Retirement Residence; death positivity advocate and educator.