On June 29, I presented a paper at Theorising the Popular at Liverpool Hope University. I analysed how Richard Bates Jr.’s 2012 film Excision explores how popular culture constructs femininity. On one hand, this paper was a prime example of my well-established obsession with “weird stuff”. On the other hand, however, I veered into unexplored territory, focusing on film rather than literary fiction, and experimenting with a new presentation style which is more natural, less reading-from-a-piece of paper. I really enjoyed not being restricted by my notes, and might even ditch them altogether at future presentations, or restrict them to a few key words. I feel the paper was too short to really get to the bottom of the subject, but it would be fascinating to connect it more to transgression, to other texts which focus on similar ideas, and to existing scholarly explorations of horror. This conference appearance also proved the importance of the connection between work and play: I first wrote about Excision on this blog, and subsequently began to describe my playful observations from a scholarly perspective. Who knows where it will end!