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Varney – the Forgotten Vampire Thumbnail

Varney – the Forgotten Vampire

Posted by Matt Foley on February 19, 2015 in Blog tagged with , ,

Varney – the Forgotten Vampire By Lauren Owen, Durham University Who is Varney? He is rather overshadowed by other pre-Dracula vampires like Lord Ruthven, the Byronic villain of Polidori’s short story “The Vampyre” (1819), or Carmilla, the dangerously seductive anti-heroine of LeFanu’s 1872 novella of the same name. Varney, the Vampyre was a long-running serial probably written by James Malcolm Rymer between 1845 and 1847. (The work was also associated with Thomas Preskett Prest, who is credited with the authorship of The String of Pearls, the novel which introduced the vill

CFP: Sonic Horror

Posted by Matt Foley on February 14, 2015 in Blog, News tagged with , ,

CFP: Sonic Horror “Shh—was that a voice?” Sound is arguably one of the most fear-provoking aspects of horror. Ghost stories and horror films employ sonic tropes such as creaking floor boards, sudden loud thumps, or ephemeral children’s choirs in order to enhance suspense through the evocation of unseen terror. “The spectre of sound”, as Kevin Donnelly has called it, creeps up on us dorsally, evading the relative comfort of visual recognition. Sonic horror tropes have also been used to imbue other genres, such as musical theatre and popular music, with elements of horror. Whethe

Fan Girls and Fangbangers: gender and the Gothic audience Thumbnail

Fan Girls and Fangbangers: gender and the Gothic audience

Posted by Eva Hayles Gledhill on February 07, 2015 in Blog, Eva Hayles Gledhill tagged with , , , , , , , ,

Gothic became a self-parodying genre very quickly: Jane Austen wrote the self-reflexive Northanger Abbey in 1798, though it did not see publication for nearly twenty years after that. Two hundred years later, the gothic has expanded and adapted, and a mocking inter-textual awareness is a key quality for the popularity of the genre. The audience for this fiction has long been perceived as skewing feminine, as is recognized and critiqued in Austen’s work. The modern southern gothic of True Blood (2007-2014), and American gothic Supernatural (2005-ongoing), also recognize a majority female fan

Review: Contemporary Scottish Gothic: Mourning, Authenticity, and Tradition Thumbnail

Review: Contemporary Scottish Gothic: Mourning, Authenticity, and Tradition

Posted by Alexandra Campbell on February 06, 2015 in Alexandra Campbell tagged with , , , , , , ,

Contemporary Scottish Gothic: Mourning, Authenticity, and Tradition  By Timothy Baker  In 2001 Edinburgh University’s Polygon Press released a collection of short stories entitled Damage Land: New Scottish Gothic Fiction, bringing together stories from influential writers such as Ali Smith, Jackie Kay, John Burnside and Janice Galloway. Published barely three years after the establishment of a devolved Scottish Parliament in 1998 and appearing in the first breaths of the new millennium, the collection has been key in highlighting the pervasive nature of Gothic creative writing in Scotlan

Review: Richard Nowell (ed.) Merchants of Menace: the Business of Horror Cinema Thumbnail

Review: Richard Nowell (ed.) Merchants of Menace: the Business of Horror Cinema

Posted by Matt Foley on February 04, 2015 in Blog, Reviews tagged with , ,

Merchants of Menace: the Business of Horror Cinema. Edited by Richard Nowell New York: Bloomsbury, 2014. ISBN: 978-1-6235-6420-9 Reviewed by Ann Davies Richard Nowell’s introduction to this collection of essays is subtitled ‘There’s Gold in Them There Chills’, a phrase which summarises the common thread that unites the essays: the Gothic and horror as industry and money-making opportunity. This reflects the increasing academic interest in film production and industry more widely in Film Studies, but is in any case a different approach from the usual tendency to analyse hor

Conference, University of Hertfordshire, Sept 3rd-5th 2015: Call for Papers and Panels Thumbnail

Conference, University of Hertfordshire, Sept 3rd-5th 2015: Call for Papers and Panels

Posted by Matt Foley on January 29, 2015 in Blog, News tagged with ,

Open Graves, Open Minds: ‘The Company of Wolves’: Sociality, Animality, and Subjectivity in Literary and Cultural Narratives—Werewolves, Shapeshifters, and Feral Humans   Wolves have long been the archetypal enemy of human company, preying on the unguarded boundaries of civilisation, threatening the pastoral of ideal sociality and figuring as sexual predators. Yet, in their way, with their complex pack interactions, they have served as a model for society. Lately, this ancient enemy has been rehabilitated and reappraised, and rewilding projects have attempted to admit them more

Sky’s Penny Dreadful and the Victorian Theatre Thumbnail

Sky’s Penny Dreadful and the Victorian Theatre

Posted by Sarah A. Winter on January 21, 2015 in Blog, Sarah Winter tagged with , , , , ,

(Some plot spoilers!) The launch of Sky’s Penny Dreadful in 2014 was greeted with an overwhelmingly positive response. Bringing together famous characters from canonical Gothic texts such as Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus (1818), Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray (1891), and Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1897), along with referencing some penny dreadful tales, the writers conveyed original aspects of the narratives, and also added experimental twists by intrepidly weaving in new characters and amendments to the texts’ plots. The concoction of explicit scene

Review: Reading Vampire Gothic Through Blood: Bloodlines Thumbnail

Review: Reading Vampire Gothic Through Blood: Bloodlines

Posted by Alexandra Campbell on November 28, 2014 in Alexandra Campbell, Blog tagged with , , , , , , , , ,

Reading Vampire Gothic Through Blood: Bloodlines By Aspasia Stephanou   Across the past two decades the classic Gothic figure of the Vampire has – despite their iconic solitary, elusive and secretive nature – hardly been out of the public eye since the release of Francis Ford Coppola's Bram Stoker's Dracula in 1992. Since the early 1990s, Vampires of all shapes and leather-clad sizes have hit our small and big screens with varying levels of cult-pop impact: Interview with A Vampire (1994); Buffy the Vampire Slayer (Series, 1997-2003); Blade Trilogy (1998-2004); Ultraviolet  (S

Critifiction, or the Status of Experimental Gothic: Part Two Thumbnail

Critifiction, or the Status of Experimental Gothic: Part Two

Posted by Neil McRobert on November 25, 2014 in Blog, Guest Blog, News tagged with , , , , , , , ,

In my last post I suggested that the dominion of postmodernism had passed. The deconstructive impulse pursued so earnestly in the ‘new’ fiction of the 60s and 70s, and which re-emerged as parody in the 1990s, seems to have dwindled in the face of a resurgent narrative conservatism. However, this being a Gothic-centric forum, my attention remains focused on the particular status of that genre/mode in the contemporary literary climate. And, unsurprisingly, the Gothic once more resists easy generalisation. Yes, it can be claimed—and that claim supported with a multitude of texts—that G

A Defence of Serial: The Insistence of Trauma and the Presumption of Innocence Thumbnail

A Defence of Serial: The Insistence of Trauma and the Presumption of Innocence

Posted by Liam Dodds on November 22, 2014 in Blog tagged with , , , , , , , , ,

So, initially I had an opening paragraph that offered a brief outline of Serial, the true-crime podcast phenomenon. But, after peak-pizza, then peak-beard, the internet has quickly reached peak-Serial, and since we now have backlash-backlash, an opening paragraph that described a podcast that has registered five-million downloads and a million “#Serial with cereal” tweets, seemed a little, well, redundant. All I know is this. One Sunday morning, I fell into the trust of investigator and confidant, Sarah Koenig, as she led me by the hand through the trials and tribulations of her invest