american gothic

Marvin Macy: The Strong Man of Grotesque Power and Heteronormativity Thumbnail

Marvin Macy: The Strong Man of Grotesque Power and Heteronormativity

Posted by Rachel Carden on May 19, 2017 in Blog, Rachel Carden tagged with , , , , ,

In my previous blog, I established Miss Amelia’s café as a place of inclusive community, linked to Mikhail Bakhtin’s conceptualisation of carnivals and their connection to freak shows. I highlighted that the space engendered a sense of community where its occupants’ grotesque physicality and their subversive genders were accepted. This post explores the grotesque power of patriarchy using Foucauldian theory and its resistance to the collapse of dichotomous gender and sexuality binaries in Carson McCullers’ The Ballad of the Sad Café (1951). Justin Edwards and Rune Graulund, i

A Strong Man, a Hermaphrodite and a Hunchbacked Dwarf Walk into a Café: Carnival and Community in McCullers’ The Ballad of the Sad Café (1951) Thumbnail

A Strong Man, a Hermaphrodite and a Hunchbacked Dwarf Walk into a Café: Carnival and Community in McCullers’ The Ballad of the Sad Café (1951)

Posted by Rachel Carden on May 12, 2017 in Blog, Rachel Carden tagged with , , , ,

In my previous blog, I summarised the plot of McCullers’ The Ballad of the Sad Café and aligned it with key genres and tropes to highlight its Gothicism and cultural critique of patriarchy through grotesque tropes. This post uses Bakhtinian theory to situate Miss Amelia’s café as a place of community, a theatrical space of gender performance and bodily oddities, which temporarily succeeds in challenging patriarchy.   The philosopher and literary critic Mikhail Bakhtin’s Rabelais and His world (1965) analyses the work of the Renaissance writer François Rabelais to refocu

Carson McCullers and Genre: Female Gothic, American Gothic and the Southern Gothic’s Grotesquerie Thumbnail

Carson McCullers and Genre: Female Gothic, American Gothic and the Southern Gothic’s Grotesquerie

Posted by Rachel Carden on May 05, 2017 in Blog, Rachel Carden tagged with , , , , , ,

Carson McCullers’ The Ballad of the Sad Café (1951) portrays the destructive power of the patriarchal regime.[1] McCullers’ use of grotesquerie brings the marginalised, the androgynous, the deformed and the weird to the forefront of her novella. In doing so, she makes the abnormal normal and the importance of binary distinctions, such as masculine and feminine, gay and straight, breakdown, at least temporarily. We feel compassion for those traditionally omitted from society and power – particularly, the distinctly masculine Miss Amelia – and we mourn the loss of a fleetingly enjoy

The Battle Hymn of the Bathroom: What a Gothic Reading of Julia Ward Howe’s The Hermaphrodite Can Teach Us about Contemporary Trans Panic Thumbnail

The Battle Hymn of the Bathroom: What a Gothic Reading of Julia Ward Howe’s The Hermaphrodite Can Teach Us about Contemporary Trans Panic

Posted by Heather Barrett on June 03, 2016 in Guest Blog tagged with , , ,

The U.S. Departments of Justice and Education recently released joint guidelines to protect the rights of transgender students throughout the nation’s schools, “even in circumstances in which other students, parents, or community members raise objections or concerns” (2). These federal guidelines respond to several state laws that require individuals to use public facilities consistent with their sex designated at birth rather than their current gender identity. Advocates of these laws also emphasize protection, arguing that they seek to shield women and children from being preyed

“a bit like Serial”: journo-podding and the new sounds of horror Thumbnail

“a bit like Serial”: journo-podding and the new sounds of horror

Posted by Danielle Hancock on April 20, 2016 in Blog, Danielle Hancock, Uncategorized tagged with , , , , , , , , , , , ,

  Up until the advent of Serial, I had a hard time explaining my research area to people. “Podcasts”, I’d say. “Pod-what?”, they’d reply. “Podcasts, scary ones. Like Welcome to Nightvale”. “Oh. Yeah, I’ve never heard of that.” There would be an exchange of mutually apologetic smiles, I’d mutter something about it being a bit like radio, and wish I’d stuck with literature studies. Then Serial happened. An off-shoot of NPR’s vastly popular radio programme cum podcast, This American Life,  Serial followed journalist Sarah Koenig’s ongoing, true-life, investi

‘I am blameless’: The Failure of the Father in American Psycho (Part 2 of 2) Thumbnail

‘I am blameless’: The Failure of the Father in American Psycho (Part 2 of 2)

Posted by Lynsay Smith on March 29, 2016 in Blog, Lynsay Smith tagged with , ,

Whilst the role of Patrick Bateman’s mother is vital to understanding his delusional and psychotic behaviour, his father also contributes to his inability to establish a secure identity.  The father, who is mostly absent from the text, is shown to have destructive tendencies which negatively impact both of his children. In Rules of Attraction, Sean visits his father in hospital and states, ‘there was my father, already noticeably dying: his face yellowish . . . [he] had stopped drinking completely. (RoA, 266) It is apparent by this statement that Bateman’s father is an alcoholic and

‘There is no real me’: The Maternal Root of Patrick Bateman’s Psychosis in American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis (Part 1 of 2) Thumbnail

‘There is no real me’: The Maternal Root of Patrick Bateman’s Psychosis in American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis (Part 1 of 2)

Posted by Lynsay Smith on March 23, 2016 in Blog, Lynsay Smith tagged with , , ,

After its publication, Bret Eason Ellis’ novel, American Psycho (1991), caused controversy due to its graphic and extremely disturbing depictions of violence. Whilst it has received considerable recognition from critics, the depraved behaviour exhibited by Patrick Bateman has often been concluded as mindless aggression without an underlying psychological cause. As Catherine Spooner argues, ‘the horror of Ellis’ novel is that everything is reduced to the level of surface, there is no depth’[1] Although it is undeniable that Bateman is the personification of American consumer culture, li

Fan Girls and Fangbangers: gender and the Gothic audience Thumbnail

Fan Girls and Fangbangers: gender and the Gothic audience

Posted by Evan Hayles Gledhill on February 07, 2015 in Blog, Evan 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

An Interview with S.P. Miskowski, Part Two Thumbnail

An Interview with S.P. Miskowski, Part Two

Posted by James Campbell on September 30, 2013 in Blog, Interviews tagged with , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Presenting part two of our in-depth interview with S.P. Miskowski, author of 'Knock Knock' and 'The Skillute Cycle'.

An Interview with S.P. Miskowski, Part One Thumbnail

An Interview with S.P. Miskowski, Part One

Posted by James Campbell on September 23, 2013 in Blog, Interviews tagged with , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

In the first of a two-part interview S.P. Miskowski, author of 'Knock Knock' and 'The Skillute Cycle,' discusses writing, labelling and marketing her work; the role of 'horror' in North American culture; 'women in horror'; and the current renaissance in small-press publishing.