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Contesting the ‘Female Gothic’ in Charlotte Dacre‘s Zofloya
Carol Margaret Davison

Taking Charlotte Dacre‘s unique and controversial novel, Zofloya; Or The Moor (1806), as its focal point, this essay takes stock of the strengths and limitations of the major theoretical engagements with the ‘Female Gothic’ under its diverse appellations, and consider them in terms of the history of Gothic theory more generally.

Gothic Studies
A Mad Tango
Carol Margaret Davison

Gothic Studies
Theorizing the Nineteenth-Century Gothic Pharmography
Carol Margaret Davison

Liberty, a term dear to the Enlightenments emancipatory project, has long been a key concept in the Gothic. No branch of the Gothic more powerfully or creatively examines the complexities of the liberty question than the Gothic pharmography – a narrative chronicling drug/alcohol seduction and addiction. Drawing on three novelistic sub-genres – the Oriental tale, the imperial Gothic, and the Urban Gothic – the Gothic pharmography coalesces several distinct nineteenth-century debates – the nature of the will and liberal individualism; social oppression and conformity; urban and national degeneration; and British imperialist expansion, which involved the perceived anxiety-inducing sense of Britains growing economic dependence on the non-Western world. This essay offers an overview of the Gothic pharmography from the late eighteenth century through to the fin de siècle in Marie Corelli‘s Wormwood.

Gothic Studies

Ranging across more than two centuries of literature, visual arts, and twentieth- and twenty-first-century visual media – television and video games – Gothic Dreams and Nightmares is an edited collection of twelve original chapters examining the compelling, much-overlooked subject of Gothic dreams and nightmares. Written by an international group of experts, including leading and lesser-known scholars, this interdisciplinary study promotes the reconsideration of the vastly under-theorised role of the subliminal in the Gothic. Beginning with an exploration of the varied intellectual and cultural matrices of the eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Gothic, and recognising the Gothic’s frequent oneiric inspiration, thematic focus, and atmospherics, a line of inspirational transmission and aesthetic experimentation with the subliminal – usually signposted by the artists themselves – is traced across two centuries. Gothic Dreams and Nightmares examines the range of literary forms and experimental aesthetics through which these phenomena were conceived – from Horace Walpole’s incorporation of Giovanni Battista Piranesi’s ‘sublime dreams’ in The Castle of Otranto into the early Gothic novel and Romantic poetry, through the paintings of Henry Fuseli and Francisco Goya and nineteenth-century British and European Gothic novels and short stories, into Surrealism and visual media. Remaining attentive to the cross-fertilisation between medical, philosophical, scientific, and psychological discourses about sleep and sleep disorders (parasomnias), and their cultural representations, these contributions consider Gothic dreams and nightmares in various national, cultural, and socio-historical contexts, engaging with questions of metaphysics, morality, rationality, consciousness, and creativity. This volume’s cross-disciplinary interrogations will have theoretical ramifications for Gothic, literary, and cultural studies more broadly.

Monstrous marriage, maternity, and the politics of embodiment
Carol Margaret Davison

In view of Scotland’s featured role in Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein as the site of the female monster’s creation, in combination with the popular stereotype of Scotland as a site of gender subversion inhabited by putatively transgressive, intellectual, and authoritative female ‘monsters’ both imaginary (Lady Macbeth) and real (Mary Queen of Scots), this essay examines how and with what implications Frankenstein was granted new life in Scottish literature of the 1980s and beyond.  In works by Liz Lochhead, Iain Banks, Alasdair Gray, and Janice Galloway, written in the wake of Second-Wave feminism and the aftermath of the failed Scottish Referendum of 1979, when Scotland witnessed an exciting cultural renaissance that continues into the present day, writers reconfigured Frankenstein to take up questions of maternity, modernity, gender roles and relations, and national identity.

in Adapting Frankenstein
Abstract only
Anne Williams
,
Jeffrey Cass
,
Carol Margaret Davison
,
Diane Long Hoeveler
,
James Allard
,
Helen Roulston
,
John Vance
,
Martin Willis
, and
Sue Zlosnik

Gothic Studies