2008 July

Postgraduate Symposium: Globalgothic

Posted by admin on July 30, 2008 in News tagged with

Technology, Media, Horror

The joke’s in the telling: or, why the Joker steals the show Thumbnail

The joke’s in the telling: or, why the Joker steals the show

Posted by Catherine Spooner on July 29, 2008 in Dr Catherine Spooner, Guest Blog tagged with

There’s been a lot of media attention given to Heath Ledger’s performance as the Joker in Christopher Nolan's Batman: The Dark Knight. The Joker is arguably the most charismatic of Batman’s adversaries, and Ledger’s is the most sophisticated screen portrayal of the character (I’ll no doubt be shot down for this, but I always thought Jack Nicholson was merely playing himself in clown make-up). What is it that is so compelling about this screen villain, and about Ledger’s performance? It has become convention to the point of cliché in representatio

Phantom Fabrics: Alison Watt at the National Gallery

Posted by Catherine Spooner on July 23, 2008 in Dr Catherine Spooner, Guest Blog tagged with

I was recently lucky enough to catch Alison Watt’s Phantom, an exhibition of paintings produced while she was artist in residence at London’s National Gallery. It was a profoundly affecting experience in its own right, but it also intrigued me because of the way that it opened up questions around the way we can talk about Gothic in relation to the visual arts. In all the media attention surrounding the exhibition, I never once saw the term Gothic used – and indeed, the paintings probably didn’t fit most people’s preconceptions of the word, being virtually abstra

IGA 2009 Conference CFP

Posted by admin on July 19, 2008 in News tagged with

monstrous media/ spectral subjects

On Teaching Contemporary Gothic Thumbnail

On Teaching Contemporary Gothic

Posted by Catherine Spooner on July 16, 2008 in Dr Catherine Spooner, Guest Blog tagged with

At Lancaster University where I work, I currently teach an MA module in Contemporary Gothic. It's ten weeks long, taught in 2-hour seminars, and usually attracts around 16 students, the majority of whom are taking MAs in Contemporary Literary Studies or Literary and Cultural Studies. It's closely based on my own research, and a chance for me to share the texts and ideas that have been most exciting me with a group of highly advanced students, some (if not all) of whom are as bonkers about Gothic as I am. I've just had a year off from teaching the course while on leave, and as a result have de

Urban legends

Posted by on July 13, 2008 in Blog tagged with

A bit of a personal interest, here, since my first idea for a PhD subject was comparing the narrative structures of literary ghost stories and urban legends of the supernatural. It's not what I ended up working on, but I still think it's an interesting subject: how much of a distinction do we make between the narratives we produce as fiction and the ones we tell as having some possible basis in fact? Here's a page on what's probably the best-known of these stories, the phantom hitch-hiker, from the urban legend reference website Snopes.com. This story turns up in a huge number of different