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has written 21 articles on The Gothic Imagination.

Nature and the long nineteenth century cfp

Posted by on August 12, 2009 in Blog tagged with

Nature conference University of Edinburgh

Cylon Gothic

Posted by on January 14, 2009 in Guest Blog tagged with

In a technocracy, tools play a central role in the thought-world of the culture. Everything must give way, in some degree, to their development. … Tools are not integrated into the culture; they attack culture. They bid to become culture. Neil Postman, Technopoly: The Surrender to Technology (1992) I recently found myself watching the box-set of Battlestar Galactica (2004-present) and I was struck by the cultural relevance and indeed prophetic qualities of this re-envisioning of the iconic 1970s series, in particular in view of recent events in the Middle East and the attacks on

Gothic Meltdown

Posted by on December 09, 2008 in Guest Blog tagged with

"I’m having a difficult time containing my disordered self" (American Psycho: 301).   Last week while teaching Bret Easton Ellis’ American Psycho it struck me how relevant this text is to our current moment of crisis, as we continue to face the horror of global economic meltdown. Although Reagan’s "voodoo economics" of the 1980s may seem a far cry from the toxic debts of 2008, there is an uncanny dimension to our present financial woes that echoes the cultural script of American Psycho. There is something particularly troubling about this "un

Decadent Gothic

Posted by on October 23, 2008 in Blog tagged with

I attended Michele Mendelshonn's Decadence Reading Group recently where we discussed George MacDonald's late Victorian fantasy novel Lilith. It seems to me that the novel is predominantly Gothic, though as a group we decided that it has decadent tropes (this was one of things we set out to establish - is the novel indeed decadent at all? As you probably know, Scotland does not have a strong tradition of decadent literature). As I am working on the novel (outside of my PhD research as it happens) I would be interested to hear what you think of Lilith in terms of Gothic / decadence or indeed wha

The Big Smackdown

Posted by on October 13, 2008 in Blog tagged with

With Halloween rapidly approaching and being back in a land that actually has castles and a bit of the old history, I’ve been thinking about my life as a teenager – or rather Halloween as experienced when I was a teenager. I did the normal amount of trick-or-treating as a child though that ended when I was 13 as my father insisted that I was too old to continue.  My older brother hadn’t gone trick-or-treating for nearly three years by the time I quit.  I almost feel like I should belong to one of those 12-step programs…”Hi!  My name is Keiti and

Experiencing the Uncanny Media Thumbnail

Experiencing the Uncanny Media

Posted by on August 13, 2008 in Blog tagged with

Text by Ilse M Bussing; Photographs by LeAnne Kline

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 This story turns up in a huge number of different


Posted by on April 22, 2008 in Blog tagged with

ITV are currently showing Season 1 of the US TV show Dexter. Even if quasi-police dramas set in Miami that feature serial-killer protagonists don't sound like your usual cup of tea, I'd strongly recommend this one. Dexter Morgan is a forensics officer in a Miami police department, the adopted son of a policeman who found him at a crime scene as a toddler. He has a good relationship with his sister (also in the police force) and most of his colleagues, and with his girlfriend and her two small children. He's also a serial killer and a sociopath, trained by his adopted father to channel his urg

Playboy Gothic

Posted by on April 12, 2008 in Blog tagged with

I’ve been nurturing a fascination for Playboy Magazine, or, more precisely (as the old joke goes) a fascination for the fiction. Curiously, since the first issue in 1953 through to the late 1960s, Playboy published a great number of Gothic tales, many of them subsequently anthologized in The Playboy Book of Horror and the Supernatural (1967). This naturally prompts a number of questions: why Gothic fiction? Why does an aesthetically middle-brow publication known primarily for its glossy images of corn-fed, semi-clad, girl next door types include tales of horror and distress? There are