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Manchester

Metropolitan
University

„ Absent
Presences
Shifting the core and peripheries of the
Gothic mode

27th - 28th June 2019


Conference Programme
Schedule
27th June

09:00 - 09:30 - Registration and Refreshments - GM 303


09:30 - 09:45 - Opening Remarks - GM 327
09:45 -11:00 - Keynote 1: Prof. Maisha Wester - GM 327
11:00 -11:15 - Break
11:15 -12:45 - Concurrent panels 1
12:45 -13:45 - Lunch (provided) - GM 303
13:45 -15:15 - Concurrent panels 2
15:15 -15:30 - Break - Refreshments in GM 303
15:30 -16:45 - Keynote 2: Prof Fred Botting - GM 327
16:45 -17:00 - Day One Closing Remarks - GM 327
Quiet room in GM 306

28th June

10:00 -10:30 - Registration and refreshments - GM 303


10:30 -12:00 - Panel 3 - GM 301
12:00 -12:15 - Break
12:15 -13:15 - Workshop: Impact, Public Engagement,
and the Manchester Gothic Festival - GM 304
13:15 -14:15 - Lunch (provided) - GM 303
14:15 -15:15 - Workshop: Converting Conference Papers
into Articles - GM 304
15:15 -15:30 - Break - Refreshments in GM 303
15:30 -17:00 - Gothic Roundtable - GM 327
plus Closing Remarks
Keynote 1:

Unspeakable Things
[Un]Spoken: Locating
the EthnoGothic
Professor Maisha Wester
Indiana University Bloomington

Keynote 2:
Infinite Monstrosity:
Empire, Terror and
Trauma in
'Frankenstein in
Baghdad'
Professor Fred Botting
Kingston University
Organisers
Katherine Burn
Katherine Burn's thesis investigates the relationship
between phenomenological shame and time, and
ultimately, its effect on the ontology of the subject in
contemporary British fiction. She can be found on Twitter
@Katherine AnneB.

Hayley Louise Charlesworth


Hayley Louise Charlesworth is a first year PhD student at
<S5>
Manchester Metropolitan University. Her research concerns
J. depictions of bisexuality, biphobia and bi-erasure in
post-millennial Gothic television. You can find her on
Twitter @fatherbananas.

Alicia Edwards
Alicia Edwards' thesis focuses on ghost tourism in London from the
nineteenth century to the present day. Using a geocritical approach,
she aims to assess and map out various cultural forms of Gothic
tourism - texts, walking tours, videogames - and interrogate the
symbiotic relationship between London Gothic tourism in praxis
and its textual sources. Her Twitter is @alyedwards3.

Catherine Elkin
Catherine Elkin is a first-year PhD student at Manchester Metropolitan
University, researching representations of baby farming (and other
informal methods of adoption) throughout the nineteenth and early
twentieth centuries. Catherine is a strong believer in the benefits of
interdisciplinary work, and is exploring the advantages that the digital
humanities could bring to her project. Her Twitter is @CathAnneElkin.

Charlotte Gislam
Charlotte Gislam is a first year PhD student at MMU
researching how artificial intelligence and narrative
intersect in digital games. Physically she can be found in
the North-West, digitally on Twitter @gislam93.
Organisers
Charlotte Gough
Charlotte is a first year PhD student at Manchester
Metropolitan University funded by the AHRC. Her thesis
is entitled 'He Who Descends into Hell also Becomes Hell:
Masculine Trauma and Satanic Panic in American Gothic
Cinema'. You can find her on twitter @CharGough7

Spencer Meeks
Spencer Meeks is a final year PhD student at Manchester
Metropolitan University. His thesis looks at the
articulation and representation of atypical brain categories
in contemporary crime narratives. He can be found on
Twitter @spencerbmeeks.

Rachid M'Rabty
Rachid M'Rabty's thesis explores the nihilistic and often pessimistic 'transgressive'
fiction of Bret Easton Ellis, Chuck Palahniuk, J. G. Ballard and Thomas Ligotti. It
examines the extent that boundary-pushing acts or fantasies of self-destruction
emerge as the primary subversive act for individuals and communities struggling to
articulate a response to, or escape from, existential discontent within the
contemporary western world.

Andreea Ros
m Andreea Ros' research examines how portrayals of contagion in
Gothic fiction reflect, reshape and reinforce public attitudes
towards contagious disease prevention and treatments at two
key moments of social and political change: the first half of the
19th century and post-9/11. Her twitter is @andreeacros.

Maartje Weenink hi
Maartje Weenink uses the methodology of the Digital
Humanities to research (trends in) early Gothic fiction. She
focuses specifically on word-embeddings and visualisations .
to determine what is quintessential to different sub-categories
of the Gothic. Her Twitter is @maartjegelsink.
27th June I 11:15 - 12:45 I Room GM 301
Panel la: Reconfiguring the Canon
Chair: Andreea Ros

1. Castles, Orphans and Mysterious Warnings: A


Spotlight on the Marginalised Career of Eliza Parsons
- Katarzyna Kalosza (University of Chester)

2. Roman Gothic: Anatomy of an Oxymoron - Michal


Lynn Shumate (Independent)

3. 5-2 = 3, 'king' - 'man' = ?: Letting Computational


Word-Embeddings Define the Early Gothic Novel
- Maartje Weenink (Manchester Metropolitan
University)

27th June I 11:15 - 12:45 I Room GM 304


Panel lb: Gothic on Location
Chair: Catherine Elkin

1. 'It Cannot Be Called Our Mother, But Our Grave':


Genre, Welsh Gothic and the Female Experience
- Ffion Davies (Bath Spa University)

2. Exhibiting the Macabre: The Convergence of Tourism


and Victorian Gothic - Lauren Davies (Independent)

3. Monstrous Mountains, Vacant Villages: The Gothic


Writing of North Wales - Caitlin Jauncey
(Manchester Metropolitan University)
27th June I 13:45 - 15:15 I Room: GM 301
Panel 2a: Gothic Institutions
Chair: Maartje Weenink

1. The Prince of Darkness: Peter Mandelson - Penny


Andrews (University of Sheffield)

2. Shifting Spirits: Theology, the Contemporary Gothic


and the Political Theology of Genre - Jon Greenaway
(Manchester Metropolitan University)

3. London Kills Me: Embodying the Institutionalised


Gothic in a KS5 Harrow Classroom - Tabitha
Macintosh (Birkbeck College)

27th June I 13:45 - 15:15 I Room GM 304


Panel 2b: Pop Culture Gothic (Part One)
Chair: Hayley Louise Charlesworth

1. T Don't Say Bleh Bleh Bleh': My Family and Other


Draculas - Matthew Crofts (University of Hull)

2. 'The more it has, the more it's him': Digital Doubles


in Charlie Brooker's Black Mirror - Sandie
Mills (University of Hull)

3. 'I hate that we're in a procedural cop show': The


Gothic Mode, Police Procedurals and Supernatural -
Mary Going (University of Sheffield)
28th June I 10:30-12:00 I GM 301
Panel 3a: Pop Culture Gothic (Part Two)
MMU Showcase
Chair: Charlotte Gough

1. 'Fluff Ain't Rules': Absence, Presence and Haunting


in Game Design - Jon Garrad (Manchester
Metropolitan University)

2. Dark is Power: Merchandising "Pop Goth" Culture


Through the Witch Figure in American Film and
Television - Dounia Ouided (Manchester
Metropolitan University)

3. 'Our Beloved's Potential Comes True': Erotic


Triangles and Killer Influence in NBC's Hannibal -
Hayley Louise Charlesworth (Manchester
Metropolitan University)

Workshops:
Workshop 1 [12:15-13:15]: Impact, Public Engagement
and the Manchester Gothic Festival - Stafffrom MMU
RAH! Public Engagement Initiative (Room GM 304)

Workshop 2 [14:15 - 15:15]: Converting Conference


Papers into Articles - Dr. Emma Liggins (Room GM 304)
Roundtable
Professor Fred Botting
Kingston University
Selected publications: Gothic (The New Critical Idiom) (Routledge, 1995); Limits of Horror:
Technology, Bodies, Gothic (Manchester University Press, 2010); Gothic Romanced: Consumption,
Gender and Technology in Contemporary Fictions (Routledge, 2008)

Professor Maisha Wester


Indiana University Bloomington
Selected publications: African American Gothic: Screams from Shadowed Places (Palgrave
Macmillan, 2012); Twenty-First-Century Gothic (Edinburgh University Press, 2019) - co-edited
with Xavier Aldana Reyes.

Dr Xavier Aldana Reyes


Manchester Metropolitan University
Selected publications: Horror: A Literary History (The British Library Publishing Division, 2016);
Horror Film and Affect (Routledge, 2018); Body Gothic: Corporeal Transgression in Contemporary
Literature and Horror Film (University of Wales Press, 2014)

Dr Linnie Blake
Manchester Metropolitan University
Selected publications: The Wounds of Nations: Horror Cinema, Historical Trauma and National
Identity (Manchester University Press, 2012); Neoliberal Gothic: International Gothic in the
Neoliberal Age (Manchester University Press, 2017) - co-edited with Agnieszka Soltysik Monnet

Dr Chloe Germaine Buckley


Manchester Metropolitan University
Selected publications: Twenty-First-Century Children 's Gothic: From the Wanderer to Nomadic
Subject (Edinburgh University Press, 2017); Telling It Slant: Critical Approaches to Helen Oyeyemi
(Sussex Academic Press, 2017) - co-edited with Sarah Ilott

Dr Sorcha Ni Fhlainn
Manchester Metropolitan University
Selected publications: Postmodern Vampires: Film, Fiction and Popular Culture (Palgrave
Macmillan, 2019); Clive Barker: Dark Imaginer (Manchester University Press, 2018); The Worlds of
Back to the Future: Critical Essays on the Films (McFarland & Co, 2010)

Dr Dale Townshend
Manchester Metropolitan University
Selected publications: Terror and Wonder: The Gothic Imagination (The British Library Publishing
Division, 2014); Gothic Antiquity: History, Romance and the Architectural Imagination 1760-1840
(Oxford University Press, 2019); Ann Radcliffe, Romanticism and the Gothic (Cambridge
University Press, 2016) - co-edited with Angela Wright
Castles, Orphans and Mysterious
Warnings: A Spotlight on the
Marginalised Career of Eliza
Parsons
Katarzyna Kalosza
University of Chester

The relegation of Eliza Parsons (1739-1811) to footnotes and passing references


in studies of the Gothic and women's literature has, in the last two decades,
seen a shift as scholars with an interest in eighteenth-century popular literature
rediscover this marginalised author. Too long has Parsons' greatest accolade
been regarded as the recognition of two of her works by Jane Austen in her
list of 'horrid novels' in Northanger Abbey, for in spite of her status as a
professional writer - one notable for being published by the notorious Minerva
Press - Parsons' literary connections, ranging from Mary Robinson to Matthew
Tewis, suggest her presence at the heart of the literary community.
Her novels, as evidenced by the reviews of critics and contemporary novelists
alike, were respected and reprinted decades after her death.

This paper will present a case for Eliza Parsons' admittance into the forefront of
discussions of the first-wave Gothic novel. It combines evidence of Parsons'
once-central position in the publishing industry and on the bookshelves of
circulating libraries, with a quantitative analysis of novel titles published
throughout her career, specifically during her most prolific period as a Minerva
author (1793-1796), to argue that Parsons did not simply react to publishing
trends. My research suggests that the popularity of her Gothic novels in
particular may have influenced the publication of new titles in a manner
previously only ascribed to canonical authors such as Ann Radcliffe and
Matthew Lewis, thus helping propel the first-wave Gothic mode to the heights
of its popularity.

Biography: Katarzyna Kalosza is a postgraduate student at the University of


Chester, pursuing a Masters in Nineteenth-Century Literature and Culture. Her
research interests range from professional women's writing of the late
eighteenth century to crime and death culture of the Victorian period, as well as
all things morbid and macabre.
Roman Gothic: Anatomy of an
Oxymoron
Michal Lynn Shumate
Independent

The Room of the Poets, or the Camera dei Poeti ed Artisti Italiani, is located
inside the neoclassical Villa Torlonia on the Via Nomentana in Rome. Painted
during the 1830s, the room is part of a historicist decorative program that
spanned the piano nobile and first floor apartments of the villa, as well as
multiple spaces in the since-demolished Palazzo Torlonia. Its swirl of
medieval-inspired references was described by an 1842 observer as "a room of
14th century gothic architecture." While the gothic revival was already well
established in England and elsewhere by the 1830s, Rome had remained
firmly Roman, a city of rounded arches and grounded, symmetrical
monumentality, unsurprising given the centrality of classical monuments to the
Grand Tour, and the centrality of Early Christian basilicas to the seat of the
Papacy. And yet a handful of gothic spaces emerged in these decades.
Generally small interior spaces rather than standalone buildings, the work of
this paper is to gather and contextualize them, and to present these rooms -
both lost and extant - as a specific Roman neo-gothic phenomenon that has yet
to be articulated.

Biography: Michal Lynn Shumate is an educator and researcher based in


Bomarzo, Italy. Current research projects focus on the visual culture of
19th-century Rome and include historicism and the restoration of medieval
houses. Michal Lynn worked, studied, and taught at the School of the Art
Institute of Chicago before moving to Italy.
• • Letting
3.5 - 2 = 3, 'king' - 'man' = ?•
Computational Word-Embeddings
Define the Early Gothic Novel
Maartje Weenink
Manchester Metropolitan University

When 'the Gothic novel' exploded onto the literary marketplace towards the
end of the eighteenth-century, the, what is now often defined as a 'genre',
became much-discussed and exceedingly popular. As a result, thousands of
'Gothic' texts survive, and have continued to interest scholars. This scope is
however beyond human comprehension; as well as previously questionably
defined, and would suit a different approach. In this article, I will be discussing
preliminary results arising from the computational text analysis of about a
thousand texts that have been defined as 'Gothic' by a number of scholars, that
are included in the Corvey collection (European Literature, 1790-1840: The Corvey
Collection by Gale Publishing).

The analysis of word-embeddings - which are what one might call 'semantic
algebra', calculating the distances between words / concepts in a corpus of texts
- allows researchers to pin-point more clearly how concepts operate (in a
certain environment). It can in turn answer questions about what would make
a 'Gothic' corpus different from a general one, what differentiates sub-corpora
of Gothic fiction based on certain criteria (linked to meta-data), and what the
embedded contexts of quintessentially 'Gothic' terms are. This article will focus
mostly on the difference in results when different pairs of words are combined
and compared; e.g. does the word-embedding change for 'monk' + 'Italy', vs.
'monk' and 'England'? How does that help contextualise our reading of a
novel?

Biography: Maartje Weenink is a PhD candidate at Manchester Metropolitan


University and one of the co-organisers of the Absent Presences project. She
uses the methodology of the Digital Humanities to research (trends in) early
Gothic fiction. One of the outputs of her PhD research is a large database of
thousands of annotated early Gothic novels and their meta-data, which can be
used to facilitate a computational approach towards Gothic literary studies. She
focusses specifically on word-embeddings and visualisations to determine
what is quintessential to different sub-categories of the Gothic.
'It Cannot Be Called Our Mother,
But Our Grave': Genre, Welsh
Gothic and the Female Experience
Ffion Davies
Bath Spa University

The problematic nature of Welsh Gothic stems from criticism which seeks to
categorise texts as 'being genuinely Welsh in interest or outlook' by being
conceived of a Welsh author or written on a Welsh subject. This approach seems
particularly exclusionary to those who connect with the Welsh experience and
reductively prioritises 'geography over history and space over time'. This paper
proposes a shift in the way we view Welsh Gothic - specifically as mode and not
genre. Through this lens, one can trace a significant trend in Gothic texts, from
the conception of the Gothic genre in the eighteenth-century to contemporary
texts of the last decade, which use the Radcliffean model of Female Gothic to
embody the Welsh experience and vice versa. This points to a distinct affinity
between female writers, of both Welsh and English heritage, and the Welsh
Gothic mode.

Despite writing hundreds of years apart, the Welsh Gothic mode has
continuously provided a voice for female authors. This paper seeks to discover
what it is that the Welsh Gothic mode affords female authors, how one
marginalised voice has provided a vehicle for another and why these voices
have so very rarely been heard.

Biography: Ffion Davies is a postgraduate student at Bath Spa University


researching gender and sexuality in Crime and Gothic narratives. She has
recently presented on Gothic Masculinities in Horror Film at the Reimagining
the Gothic conference in October 2018 and will be presenting on Hard-Boiled
Femininity at the Captivating Criminality conference in June. She can be found
on Twitter @ffionrosedavies.
Exhibiting the Macabre: The
Convergence of Tourism and
Victorian Gothic
Lauren Davies
Independent

Scholarship has widely examined the role of Victorian death culture. Death
pervaded its literature, art, domestic and public performance, entertainment,
and most importantly, developed a commodifiable spectacle of leisure and
consumption. From Broadsides, mass-produced knick-knacks of murderers and
their victims to the pieces hangman's rope sold off by executioner, the
nineteenth century can be classified as what Mark Seltzer designates as a
'wound culture'. It was also the period of a burgeoning mass-tourism industry,
particularly Gothic tourism influenced by the spectacle of criminality - Jack the
Ripper is one of the most recognized sensational stories, attracting thousands of
tourists to London to this day.

Despite its cultural prevalence, Emma McEvoy has acknowledged the "scant
attempt to think about the history of the cultural practices dominant within
Gothic tourism," or its influence on the wider cultural traditions. This paper
seeks to fill this gap by highlighting the crucial historical role Gothic tourism
has had on Victorian Gothic tradition. This paper argues that greater
historical attention to crime-based Gothic tourism highlights the reciprocal
relationship between the production of the Gothic aesthetic and literature in the
nineteenth, and invites further discussion to neglected archetypes such as
female murderers - for example, widely forgotten serial killer Amelia Dyer -
and the role tourism plays in staging places in the popular Gothic
imagination. More broadly, this paper will question how places, peoples and
histories are 'othered' and staged both in the Victorian era and now.

Biography: Lauren Davies is an independent scholar and the author of


Suffragettes and the Lazo, due for release in 2019.
Monstrous Mountains, Vacant
Villages: The Gothic Writing of
North Wales
Caitlin Jauncey
Manchester Metropolitan University

'Mae na leuad llawn heno. Pam na newch chi adael i Huw ddwad allan i chwara, O
Frenhines y Llyn Du?'
['Why won't you let Huw come out to play, O Queen of the Black Lake?']

Whilst Irish and Scottish Gothic have taken their place alongside their English
neighbour in the mainstream Gothic canon, the absence of Welsh Gothic in the
realm of Gothic Studies is still glaringly apparent. But is this absence due to the
historic marginalisation and oppression of Welsh culture within Great Britain,
the dwindling market for Welsh language literature, or a combination of the
two?

This paper argues that whilst Welsh literature is still grossly understudied
within mainstream academia, its unique location within and interpretation of
the Gothic mode is far worthier of study than has been previously allowed to it;
and particularly so in the case of North Wales, as contemporary focus remains
on the metropolitan Cardiff and southern valleys. Focussing primarily on the
seminal 1961 novel Un Nos Ola Leuad by Caradog Prichard, with reference to
the poetry of TH Parry-Williams, this paper will discuss the ways in which
twentieth-century North Walian literature engages with the Gothic mode in
order to work through regional and national anxieties regarding isolation,
industrialisation, and the burgeoning postwar 'British' identity. These writers,
both born and raised North Walians, do not depict the crags and cliffs of
Snowdonia as the idyllic Celtic landscape of a bygone era, but as the
claustrophobic setting of a society in collapse.

Biography: Caitlin Jauncey is an MA student at Manchester Metropolitan


University's Centre for Gothic Studies. Previously studying at Somerville
College, Oxford, her research interests include Gothic stage and film
production, monsters, and ludic horror. She is currently working on her MA
dissertation, a study of the Gothic influence on ballet in the nineteenth century.
The Prince of Darkness: Peter
Mandelson
Penny Andrews
University of Sheffield

This paper is about the Prince of Darkness of politics, Peter Mandelson, and the
Grey Lords of Michael Moorcock's Multiverse, and those who purport to act
like them in Parliament. What is the cosmic balance? Why do we need dark
men to sweep in and fix things? Why is the Gothic so appealing when othering
gay men, Jewish people and unelected peers?

Mandelson has accepted his media characterisation to the point of playing up


to it when launching his autobiography, the Third Man. Even when he had
resigned from the Government, and this happened multiple times due to
scandal, his presence in the policy-making and marketing of Blair and Brown's
government was always assumed. The traces of Mandy were ever present.

The Lords and backbenchers are supposed to be grey, unassuming men like the
Grey Lords of Moorcock, to ensure and maintain balance and the blurring
between party lines. Successive governments have elevated allies to the Lords
to bring them into Cabinet, and often those people are from more diverse
backgrounds than the MPs who become ministers. It is not enough to respect
the contribution peers and bigger characters on the back benches make to
Parliament, but gothic tropes must be applied and their presence questioned.
Their traces must be delegitimised.

Biography: Penny Andrews researches politics, fandom, internet cultures,


gender and social media. They have bylines as a freelance journalist in the
Independent, New Statesman, Prospect, Popida and the Huffington Post. On Twitter,
they are @pennyb
Shifting Spirits: Theology, the
Contemporary Gothic and the
Political Theology of Genre
Jon Greenaway
Manchester Metropolitan University

In the wake of work from scholars such as Simon Marsden, Elle Beal and
Alison Milbank who have all built on the earlier work of people such as Victor
Sage, Gothic and horror studies has increasingly been understood as having a
deep and abiding interest in the theological. Theology serves as a rich symbolic
discourse integrated into horror from its beginnings in the eighteenth century
as ruined abbeys, monasteries and crucifixes are all staples of the form. In a
great deal of modern criticism however, this theological symbolic register is
often read in non-theological terms - an error which the critics mentioned
above have done much to rectify. This paper will seek to build on the new shift
in Gothic studies towards taking the theological symbolism of Gothic and
horror writing in the contemporary age seriously as a heterodox and often
heretical contribution to theology and a source of theological insights outside of
the structures of religious tradition. Furthermore, this paper will ask, not just
whether the contemporary Gothic is a site of heterodox theology, but
importantly, what kind of theology is present - who is included and who is
excluded. Through a close reading of Stephen and Owen King's Sleeping
Beauties the paper will examine the absent theological centre of the novel as it
ignores the tradition of black liberation theology, even as it makes some move
towards the idea of a greater political radicalism that King's usual liberal
politics. Thus, even as Gothic criticism becomes more attuned to the
intersection of theology, it is crucial to interrogate the political theology of the
form, and to expose the ways in which old patterns of exclusion and othering
still persist.

Biography: Dr Jon Greenaway completed his thesis. Language of the Sacred: The
Nineteenth Century Gothic Novel and Imaginative Apologetics, at Manchester
Metropolitan University in 2018. He can be found on twitter @thelitcritguy
London Kills Me: Embodying the
Institutionalised Gothic in a KS5
Harrow Classroom
Tabitha Macintosh
Birkbeck College, University of London

This presentation is a multimedia one comprised of teacher-researcher led


analysis and 6th form student-created and curated queer, Asian, East Asian,
Black, autistic, twin, synaesthetic, anxious, ADHD, and dyslexic subjectivity
experienced and expressed through the OCR A Level Literature unit on the
Gothic. Using photography, journal writing, creative fiction and analytic
commentary, students explore the architectural, institutional and cultural
boundaries of set texts (Dracula and The Bloody Chamber) and the OCR Subject
Delivery Guidelines. In the process, they challenge the ways in which their
identities and embodied subjectivities are perpetually removed from the core
curriculum and rendered fetishised, alien and Other.

Biography: Tabitha McIntosh is an English teacher at Nower Hill High School


in Harrow and a doctoral student at Birkbeck College, University of London.
She works on the circulation of racialised and racialising anecdotes and objects
in Atlantic culture, and has presented in conferences around the Atlantic, from
Tate Britain to Port-au-Prince. Her co-authored essay on the representations of
King Henry Christophe of Haiti was published by Atlantic Studies in 2016, and
she is the co-creator and curator of the digital humanities project The Kingdom
of Objects, which seeks to recover the pillaged material history of the Kingdom
of Haiti, starting with the long-lost play about the revolution that she
recovered.
'I Don't Say Bleh Bleh Bleh': My
Family and Other Draculas
Matthew Crofts
University of Hull

There are few texts more firmly located in the Gothic canon than Bram Stoker's
Dracula (1897). Gothic researchers have identified the Count's ubiquitous
presence as a result of his prolific film career, spanning the breadth of the
twentieth-century and beyond. Analysing Dracula's film appearances has a
tendency to focus on a loose collection of high-profile productions, or
adaptations of Stoker's novel itself - regardless of any liberties taken.
Nosferatu acts as the grandfather of filmic Draculas, sometimes literally, whilst
Universal's Dracula and Hammer's Dracula became key influences over later
productions, with their actors transcending productions to appear as Dracula
elsewhere. Beginning with Hotel Transylvania (2012), this paper seeks to explore
how the most atypical Draculas are necessary to understanding the Count's
grip on popular culture. Similarly, increased engagement with new media
incarnations of Dracula is vital to understanding the appeal of this
nineteenth-century vampire to modern audiences of all kinds. Video games,
comic books, and even cartoons have all played a key role in enshrining
Dracula as a pop-culture icon as comfortable fighting Batman as having Scooby
Doo babysit his son. In giving voice to the good, bad and ugly Draculas of
perceived low-culture that form a compelling periphery surrounding this
central character this paper aims not only to emphasise the sheer number and
diversity of Draculas, but to seek the common links and shared ideas that
situate them as dark fruit on the same sublime family tree.

Biography: Matthew Crofts is completing his doctoral research, examining the


reoccurring elements of tyranny and torture across a range of Gothic novels
and historical backgrounds. These include classic Gothic subjects such as the
Spanish Inquisition, through to Victorian imperialism and even modern Gothic
forms and science fiction hybrids.
'The More It has. The More It's
Him': Digital Doubles in Charlie
Brooker's Black Mirror
Sandra Mills
University of Hull

'It's not a technological problem [we have], it's a human one.'- Charlie Brooker

Charlie Brooker's anthology television series Black Mirror has provoked strong
viewer responses, from unease to distress, since the award-winning series first
premiered on Channel 4 in 2011.

Renewed by Netflix in 2016, the show continues to act as a dark reflection of


our technologically-obsessed contemporary society. Each of the stand-alone
episodes mould to this dystopian framework, they offer the viewer differing,
frequently disturbing, insights into the conceivable adverse effects of existing
and future technologies. Commonly typecast as a science fiction series this
paper highlights the Gothic aesthetic of Black Mirror. Focusing on the first
episode of season two 'Be Right Back', this paper examines Brooker's skill at
deftly amalgamating humanity and technology against that most Gothic of
backdrops, death. 'Be Right Back' posits a future where a mourning widow can
utilise her former husband's online persona, where data extracted from his
social media accounts can fuel an artificial life-size copy, where 'the more
[information] it has, the more it's him'. This digital double though, despite (or
indeed, because of) its uncanny aesthetic resemblance to her former husband, is
regarded with horror. In the tradition of Mary Shelley's pivotal tale of creator
and his creation Frankenstein, 'Be Right Back' is a doppelganger narrative
which skilfully articulates the permeable nature of human innovation and
humanity in our modern age.

Biography: Sandra Mills is a PhD student at the University of Hull researching


the 'living' doll figure in contemporary horror narratives. She's published on
the work of Angela Carter, Carlo Collodi, Ramsey Campbell, and Robert
Coover. She works in computer coding and is intrigued by intersections of
technology and Gothic Studies.
'I Hate That We're a Procedural Cop
Show': The Gothic Mode, Police
Procedurals and Supernatural
Mary Going
University of Sheffield

"In one sentence, this is X-FILES meets ROUTE 66": the first line of Eric
Kripke's 2004 pitch for Supernatural (2005-present) epitomises the fundamental
core of his show, its relation to genre and its generic hybridity. Originally
envisaged as a Horror show for the small screen, the 2016 collection The Gothic
Tradition in Supernatural also firmly identifies the show as Gothic, locating the
show's generic roots within the Gothic tradition. Yet, while Horror and the
Gothic appear as its predominant genres. Supernatural's intrinsic generic
hybridity, and its predilection to experiment with genre, has led to the inclusion
of other genres throughout the series. Indeed, this generic hybridity or
"conflation of genre, styles, and cultural concerns" is, itself, a key part of the
Gothic mode which manifests in Supernatural through the incorporation of,
and gestures towards, many different genres from Comedy and Melodrama,
Metafiction and the Road Movie, and, perhaps most significantly, the Police
Procedural.

This paper seeks to explore the intersection of the Gothic mode with the Police
Procedural in Supernatural. While Police Procedural shows aspire to a level of
authenticity and realism, ultimately they remain works of fiction. However,
inherent within the Gothic is a sense of play where the boundaries of reality
and fiction, authenticity, identity, and genre, are explored and performed.
Existing as a show where its main protagonists, Sam and Dean Winchester,
investigate supernatural cases while often also playing detective, this paper
will examine Supernatural's playful emulation and subversion of Police
Procedural conventions.

Biography: Mary Going is a PhD candidate at the University of Sheffield,


exploring depictions of Jewish characters, myths and legends in late-eighteenth
and early-nineteenth century literature. She is co- organiser of Sheffield Gothic,
and lead organiser of the 'Reimagining the Gothic' and 'Gothic Bible'
projects. She has a forthcoming chapter in Horror and Religion (July 2019), and is
the current Web Officer for the IGA.
'Fluff Ain't Rules': Absence,
Presence and Haunting in Game
Design
Jon Garrad
Manchester Metropolitan University

Fluff means fiction, framing and flavour; it's the material around a game's
actual rules, that illustrates and indicates but has no substantive impact on how
the game is played.

Rules are crunch. They are - particularly if you're a serious player or a


traditional ludologist - the important bit.

"If your game doesn't blend the two, it says one of two things: either you're not
efficiently using your words, or your game isn't really about what it says it's
about." — Olivia Hill

"Fluff" is often an absent presence within game design. It's clearly important to
the aesthetic experience of playing the game, and the context - narrative or
otherwise - that provides play with impetus, but it too often exists at some
point of discretion from the actual rules that reify the game's intended or
desired themes, affective experience and outcome.

This paper is a hauntological and ludological analysis of game systems - how


the claims about a game's fictive and cultural context are frequently a spectre,
missed and yearned after but not fully secured by the (relatively) concrete
reality of its rules. What is not reified by a game's rules does not exist within
the game - and what is reified by a game's rules is often not what the game
claims itself to be.

Biography: Jon Garrad is a former teacher, freelance writer, and a PhD student
at Manchester Metropolitan University, where he works on character death in
role-playing games. Jon's other research takes in medieval necromancy,
transmedia adaptations, and genre coordinates in games. His reviews of books
and games have appeared in Mythlore, Vector and Foundation. He writes and
edits role-playing games with the San Jenaro Co-Op group, and fanfiction by
himself.
Dark is Power: Merchandising
"Pop Goth" Culture Through the
Witch Figure in American Film and
Television
Hachelef Dounia Ouided
Manchester Metropolitan University

This paper seeks to investigate the presence of gothic aesthetics in the


contemporary proliferation of visual representations of the witch in America.
The Gothic as a term has been so often associated with death, grotesque,
obscurity, and mystique; it has been also illustrative of darkness, and barbarous
images (Steel, and Park, 2008). However, contemporary American popular
culture, in particular, mainstream film and television have revisited the
meaning of the Gothic genre and increasingly produced versions of 'happy'
gothic, glamorous gothic and pop gothic (Spooner, 2006). This paper claims that
the contemporary portrayal of the witch can meaningfully be read in this light
to have a representative potential of female power.

This paper seeks to demonstrate how American fantasy films and television
series are incorporating "pop goth" culture in their portrayals of the witch
character. By analysing the following case studies. Beautiful Creatures, Penny
Dreadful, The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, and Maleficent through the lens of
feminist film criticism, this paper will discuss the ways in which popular
culture is restyling the gothic in new directions through the manifestation of
witches' physicality. In this paper, I will explore the means by which the figure
of the witch is being used as a new feminist model whilst simultaneously
merchandising the gothic. I will be creating a link between the
conceptualization of female power and the different forms of dark glamour and
female rebellion through the current representation of the witch, which lies on
the popularity of gothic stylistics in modern America.

Biography: Hachelef Dounia Ouided is a second year Ph.D. student at the


department of English. She has a Masters in American studies. She has been
granted a fully funded scholarship from the Algerian government to conduct a
Ph.D. project in the UK. Her research focuses on the contemporary
representations of female power in American popular culture.
'Our Beloved's Potential Comes
True: Erotic Triangles and Killer
Influence in NBC's Hannibal
Hayley Louise Charlesworth
Manchester Metropolitan University

The queer gothic has a long-standing history with the use of suggestion,
subtext, and metaphor, with monstrous acts standing in for a homosexual
union. Meanwhile, in the modern television landscape, sexuality in all its
different forms is presented explicitly. These two opposing approaches to queer
visibility meet in Hannibal (2013-2015), in which the gothic techniques of
suggestion are used to express a wholly explicit romantic desire between the
male leads: Hannibal Lecter and Will Graham. While not expressed in sexual
acts, Hannibal's desire and love for Will is his motivational force, while Will's
gradual ache for Hannibal sees this desire reciprocated. In place of sex,
Hannibal uses techniques key to the gothic tradition to illustrate its central
romance, such as imagery and atmosphere, coded language, and homosociality.

Male homosocial desire, as articulated in Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick's Between


Men, is the key component of this paper. Using her theories, in which male
desire for another male is expressed through the conduit of a woman, I detail
how the women of Hannibal serve as tools to manipulate Will towards
Hannibal's influence. While the paper will briefly touch on the roles Abigail
Hobbes, Bedelia Du Maurier and Francis Dolarhyde play in the show's various
erotic triangles, this paper will focus on season two, the triangle involving
Alana Bloom, and its explicitly sexual function. I comment on Alana's placing
as love interest to both men, her own identity as a queer woman, and the
involvement of Margot Verger, Alana's future wife. I explore how the visual
presentation of their sexual encounters serves to obscure or exclude the women
from the act, and how editing techniques allow us to visualise a sexual
encounter between Hannibal and Will that has not taken place.

Biography: Hayley Touise Charlesworth is a first year PhD candidate at


Manchester Metropolitan University. Her thesis is provisionally titled
'Depraved' Bisexuals: Bi-erasure and Biphobia in Post-Millennial Gothic Television.
She is one of the co-organisers of the Absent Presences project. She is the former
Books Editor and TV Writer for I'm With Geek and the co-host of the podcast
Sweet Valley Why. She can be found on Twitter @fatherbananas.
Mancheste ___ T_
for Gothic Studies
Over the past decade there has been an explosion of interest in and academic
analysis of the Gothic as it manifests itself in a range of literary, filmic, televisual
and popular cultural texts.

The Manchester Centre for Gothic Studies' mission is to promote the study of the
Gothic both nationally and internationally and to work across age ranges and
levels of study - from sixth form to PhD and beyond. To do this we have run
Sixth Form Gothic Study Days, creative writing workshops and Continuing
Professional Development courses that are of particular interest to those who
teach the Gothic or, simply, want to take a university-level course for pleasure.
We have run Gothic festivals. Gothic networking days and Gothic research
lectures, often in collaboration with a range of partners across Manchester, that
have helped us not only showcase our work but bring the dark delights of Gothic
culture to a wider non-specialist audience. In 2018 we are hosting the 14th
conference of the International Gothic Association, the most significant gathering
of Gothic academics in the world.

Gothic Courses and Supervision


The MA English Studies: The Gothic is a Masters-level course that focuses
explicitly on the Gothic. It offers a rare opportunity to embrace Gothic literature
from the eighteenth century to the present and to examine both filmic and
televisual representations of Gothic horror. We also provide doctoral supervision
on most aspects of the Gothic, especially its Modern and Contemporary
incarnations, and on Horror film and fiction.

Get in Touch
You can email the Gothic Centre on gothic@mmu.ac.uk. You can also follow us
on Twitter (@gothicmmu) and request to join our Facebook group.
THE DARK
ARTS
JOURNAL
Emerging Voices in
Gothic Studies

We are the Dark Arts Journal and we exist to publish and promote
upcoming and emerging voices in the field of Gothic Studies.

The journal operates on open access policies and has its own peer review
process. Updates are published twice a year and previous editions are
available for download in pdf format.

The DAJ is part of the Dark Arts Network, a tool for allowing new
scholars to gain experience, gain connections and contribute to their
field. The Dark Arts Journal is published by the Dark Arts Network in
Manchester, UK with the support of the Manchester Centre for Gothic
Studies, part of Manchester Metropolitan University as well as Sheffield
University's Centre for the History of the Gothic.

https://thedarkartsjournal.wordpress.com/

To keep up to date with The Dark Arts Network and be added to the
mailing list contact the editor at darkartsjournal@gmail.com

To join in on Twitter, follow @DarkArtsJournal @GothicMMU


@GothImagination @HullGothic and @SheffieldGothic

# GothsAssemble
Call For Papers: Gothic Manchester
Festival Conference 2019 - 'Gothic
Times/
26 October 2019
In the opening decades of the twenty-first century, with Trump in the White House and
Brexit on the horizon, Angela Carter's famous assertion of 1974 that 'we live in Gothic times'
has never been more apt. But from the eighteenth century onwards, the Gothic mode has
routinely placed the present moment under scrutiny, exploring the terrors of the age whilst
calling into question the comforting fantasies upon which the established order rests. In this,
the Gothic text might be seen to offer a culturally and politically engaged exploration of the
historic period in which each text was produced, interrogating the contemporary present
even as it calls into question standard historical narratives about the past.

This year's Gothic Manchester Festival Symposium picks up on these concerns, inviting
twenty-minute papers on the theme of 'Gothic Times' that are accessible to a non-specialist
audience. These may focus on any aspect of Gothic culture - literature, film, television,
music, graphic novels, games, Goth subcultures, etc. Topics may include, but are certainly
not limited to:

The Gothic and History / Gothic Histories


The Gothic as social and political critique
Gothic narratives in (and out of) time
Gothic temporalities - time in the Gothic text
Gothic of the present moment: Trump and Brexit
Projecting the Future - Gothic / SF fusions

Abstracts of 150 words are to be sent to the conference organiser Dr Linnie Blake by July
30th 2019. Email: l.blake@mmu.ac.uk

Important: Please save your abstracts as 'Surname Short Title' and ensure that your name
and full title are included on the abstract itself, which should be attached to a covering
email.