By exploring how laughter is represented in Kipling‘s ghost stories this article attempts a re-evaluation of how colonial and postcolonial identities can be theorised within the Gothic. Laughter, and the disorientation that it provokes, is accorded a Gothic function that destabilises images of colonial authority.
The Peterloo Massacre was more than just a Manchester event. The attendees, on
whom Manchester industry depended, came from a large spread of the wider textile
regions. The large demonstrations that followed in the autumn of 1819,
protesting against the actions of the authorities, were pan-regional and
national. The reaction to Peterloo established the massacre as firmly part of
the radical canon of martyrdom in the story of popular protest for democracy.
This article argues for the significance of Peterloo in fostering a sense of
regional and northern identities in England. Demonstrators expressed an
alternative patriotism to the anti-radical loyalism as defined by the
authorities and other opponents of mass collective action.
Adrien Douchet, Taline Garibian, and Benoît Pouget
The aim of this article is to shed light on the conditions under which the
funerary management of human remains was carried out by the French authorities
during the early years of the First World War. It seeks to understand how the
urgent need to clear the battlefield as quickly as possible came into conflict
with the aspiration to give all deceased an individualised, or at the very least
dignified, burial. Old military funerary practices were overturned and
reconfigured to incorporate an ideal that sought the individual identification
of citizen soldiers. The years 1914–15 were thus profoundly marked by a
clash between the pragmatism of public health authorities obsessed with hygiene,
the infancy of emerging forensic science, the aching desire of the nation to see
its children buried individually and various political and military imperatives
related to the conduct of the war.
This article addresses the current state of film studies as a discipline, profession
and institution, arguing that the hunt for cultural authority has been the defining
feature, motivating force and tragic flaw of film studies. The current self-reflexive
soul- searching reveals that the field – no longer a radical upstart – still lacks
the gravitas of more established subjects. Departments have responded to identity
crises and changing enrolment patterns by mummifying, killing off or burying
foundational emphases. The nostalgia for film studies origins and the jeremiads about
an unmanageable, unruly and recalcitrant discipline yield rose-tinted fantasies about
community and mutual intelligibility that must be ultimately resisted.
Presumed black immunity to yellow fever and the racial politics of burial labour in 1855 Portsmouth and Norfolk, Virginia
Michael D. Thompson
Epidemic disease regularly tore through nineteenth-century American cities, triggering public health crises and economic upheaval. These epidemic panics also provoked new racialised labour regimes, affecting the lives of innumerable working people. During yellow fever outbreaks, white authorities and employers preferred workers of colour over ‘unacclimated’ white immigrants, reflecting a common but mistaken belief in black invulnerability. This article chronicles enslaved burial labourers in antebellum Virginia, who leveraged this notion to seize various privileges – and nearly freedom. These episodes demonstrate that black labour, though not always black suffering or lives, mattered immensely to white officials managing these urban crises. Black workers were not mere tools for protecting white wealth and health, however, as they often risked torment and death to capitalise on employers’ desperation for their essential labour. This history exposes racial and socioeconomic divergence between those able to shelter or flee from infection, and those compelled to remain exposed and exploitable.
In the aftermath of conflict and gross human rights violations, victims have a right to
know what happened to their loved ones. Such a right is compromised if mass graves are not
adequately protected to preserve evidence, facilitate identification and repatriation of
the dead and enable a full and effective investigation to be conducted. Despite guidelines
for investigations of the missing, and legal obligations under international law, it is
not expressly clear how these mass graves are best legally protected and by whom. This
article asks why, to date, there are no unified mass-grave protection guidelines that
could serve as a model for states, authorities or international bodies when faced with
gross human rights violations or armed conflicts resulting in mass graves. The paper
suggests a practical agenda for working towards a more comprehensive set of legal
guidelines to protect mass graves.
In this article we explore the relational materiality of fragments of human
cadavers used to produce DNA profiles of the unidentified dead at a forensic
genetics police laboratory in Rio de Janeiro. Our point of departure is an
apparently simple problem: how to discard already tested materials in order to
open up physical space for incoming tissue samples. However, during our study we
found that transforming human tissues and bone fragments into disposable trash
requires a tremendous institutional investment of energy, involving negotiations
with public health authorities, criminal courts and public burial grounds. The
dilemma confronted by the forensic genetic lab suggests not only how some
fragments are endowed with more personhood than others, but also how the very
distinction between human remains and trash depends on a patchwork of multiple
logics that does not necessarily perform according to well-established or
Smith explores how Stoker‘s novel raises some complex questions about love through its use of a male love-struck narrator, who appears to be caught in a Female Gothic plot which casts him as its hero. In the novel ‘love’ becomes increasingly sinister as it turns into a destabilising and dangerously irrational emotion that ultimately aligns love with feelings of justified horror. Jewel (1903, revised 1912) thus develops a male reading of a Female Gothic plot in which the idea of female empowerment becomes defined as horrific. However, this idea of a pathologised love, Smith argues, is not unique to Stoker and can be linked to Freud‘s account of love, which reveals how issues relating to male authority appear within psychoanalytical debates about emotion at the time.
In the early gothic literature of the eighteenth century danger lurked in the darkness beneath the pointed arches of gothic buildings. During the nineteenth century, there was a progressive, although never complete, dislocation of gothic literary readings from gothic architecture. This article explores a phase in that development through discussion of a series of dark illustrations produced by Hablot Knight Browne to illustrate novels by Charles Dickens. These show the way in which the rounded arches of neo-classical architecture were depicted in the mid-nineteenth century as locales of oppression and obscurity. Such depictions acted, in an age of political and moral reform, to critique the values of the system of power and authority that such architecture represented.
Representations of Lower-Class Voices in Ann Radcliffe’s Novels
This paper investigates lower-class voices within the context of anti-Gothic
criticism, using Ann Radcliffe’s novels and early Gothic critic Joseph Addison’s
essays to highlight the ways in which Radcliffe reassigns value to the Gothic
aesthetic. It further emphasizes Radcliffe’s reconfiguration of domestic roles
as she positions patriarchal figures as anti-Gothic critics, the heroine as
reader of gothic narratives, and lowerclass voices and tales as gothic texts.
The Mysteries of Udolpho and Romance of the
Forest subvert critical discourse and its motif of servants’ contagious
irrationality. In Radcliffe’s novels, ‘vulgar’ narratives as superstitious
discourse do not spread fear to susceptible heroines, embodiments of bourgeois
virtue, but demonstrate the ways in which fear is a construct of patriarchal
discourse. Servants and country people, in turn, construct a pedagogy for
reading gothic texts that permit heroines to deconstruct metaphors of ghostly
haunting embedded in their tales and resist patriarchal hegemony and
interpretative authority over gothic texts.