Some Reflections after the Postgraduate Symposium at Stirling

Posted by Dale Townshend on December 08, 2008 in News tagged with

Yes, Global, illness Globalization and Gothic are loaded words. Thus, when you put GLOBALGOTHIC under the microscope, some will look at it suspiciously, some just take it for granted and others will keep on racking their brains to find out its sense.

One way or another, Globalgothic is not an un-dead. It is absolutely ALIVE since its meaning is still under construction.  It might be because Gothic itself is marked with the sign of ambiguity and transmutation that we cannot reach a definition yet . It was born between barbaric and modern, between the myth to recreate origins –  in order to build a national identity- and the profitable spectacle. On the other hand, we have Globalization, which is a notion that has as many supporters as detractors.  Nevertheless, we can link both by considering that Gothic began as an English local socio-political and cultural phenomenon that turned into a global one because it deals with universal feelings and behaviours interconnected with all human beings: fear, evil, anguish, dark zones from the unconscious mind, and the infinite unsolved questions about the supernatural.

Those who had the opportunity to attend to Globalgothic: Technology, Media, Horror the Postgraduate Symposyum at the University of Stirling–  last weekend, could not help feeling galvanized after this exchange of ideas! Multiple doors were open during this sympossium. The plenaires held by  some of the most well-known researches on Gothic; Professor Isabella van Elferen, Utrecht University, and Professor Fred Botting, Lancaster University gave us the chance to think about this mode from different  perspectives; since the GLOCAL subculture linked with cyberspace and a kind of music that opens liminal spaces of history  to the complex structures implied in the UNCANNIMEDIA and the different kinds of spectrality .

During the sessions, we counted with the participation of students from the Universities of Glasgow, Central Florida, Bristol, Edinburgh, Manchester, Hull, East Anglia, the Institute of Technology, Carlow, and the Universtity of Stirling. A wide variety of topics can be mentioned: reappropiations of Gothic notions in the media, new ways of being haunted, phantom ships, other controversial conceptions of Evolution starting from Batrachians in the Gothic fiction, Gothic in the tropic, parallel histories of horror cinema (English and Italian especifically), the image of the city and the superheroes in graphic novels, postmodern views of Vampires, among others. This variety demonstrates that Globalgothic is alive and that we do need this kind of spaces to share different points of view, to listen to each other, to meet people who are passionately engaged with this interdiscilinary field around the world, to notice,once more,  that Gothic is a historical constant that hs become global because it emerges in different times and places, as the Phoenix Bird.

Special Thanks to the organizers, Professor Glennis Byron and Doctor Dale Townshend,  for making this happen; Thanks to the special guests, Isabella van Elferen and Fred Botting and of course, to all the participants who came to share their papers and everybody for coming and injecting with new ideas this rich field of study! I am sure that all of us are looking forward to the next symposium!

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