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Zero Dark Thirty at ten years: the power of cultural texts - 26 January 2022

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Chair: Dr Amanda Chisholm, Senior Lecturer in Security Studies / Researcher in Gender and Security

Speaker: Emily Brown, final-year PhD candidate in the War Studies Department of King’s College London

Certain cultural texts seek to create a first draft of narrative history, which can reinforce already established power structures and diminish any requirement for further interpretation. As Zero Dark Thirty is approaching the tenth anniversary of its release in 2022, this discussion will consider how the film has performed as a political tool in that time. Was the film a successful 'first draft of history' as filmmaker Kathryn Bigelow wanted? What difference did the discourses around the film make in our understandings of American torture? What are the stories we tell about torture now?

Emily brown


Emily Brown is a final-year PhD candidate in the War Studies Department of King’s College London. She is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and has been teaching King’s undergraduates since 2017. She has also taught at the London School of Economics and the Joint Services Command and Staff College in Shrivenham, as well as in Widening Participation schemes such as the Brilliant Club and the K+ Spotlight summer school.

Emily holds a BA (Hons) in Film and American Studies from the University of East Anglia and an MA in Shakespeare Studies from King’s College London. After focusing on the role of Shakespeare in American identity, her research has shifted to focus on the role of judicial and political violence in American culture after working for human rights charity Reprieve.

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Event details

26 January 2022

Online event