Presented by Jess Peacock
Legacy of the Marsten House: The Political, Cultural, and Theological Impact of Stephen King’s ‘salem’s Lot will explore how this iconic novel, as well as its 1979 television adaptation, is able to traverse and interconnect politics, theology and popular culture in a compelling and thought-provoking manner as a result of its rich history, mythology, cosmogonic implications, and the metaphorical potential to lead one into contemplating their role amidst the oppressive forces of our day. In light of our current cultural anxieties revolving around abortion rights, treatment of undocumented immigrants, queer acceptance, persecution of Muslims, and the continued destruction of Black lives at the hands of the justice system, it is no surprise that King’s sophomore novel is poised for a comeback.
The Legacy of the Marsten House lecture at this year’s Salem HorrorFest will examine how Stephen King’s ‘salem’s Lot speaks to survival, both individual and communal, serving as a contemporary manuscript of lamentations that, like its biblical namesake, is a ferocious and unrelenting onslaught on the idea that human suffering might have an ultimate purpose. King’s literature of survival is meant to remind us of death, of oppression, of the unrelenting forces that seek endless power and consumption in our troubling and frightening times, and conveys the ongoing story of unspeakable oppression against the marginalized characters who, often at great cost, choose to resist.