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The gothic and death is the first ever published study to investigate how the multifarious strands of the Gothic and the concepts of death, dying, mourning, and memorialization – what the Editor broadly refers to as "the Death Question" – have intersected and been configured cross-culturally to diverse ends from the mid-eighteenth century to the present day. Drawing on recent scholarship in Gothic Studies, film theory, Women’s and Gender Studies, and Thanatology Studies, to which fields it seeks to make a valuable contribution, this interdisciplinary collection of fifteen essays by international scholars considers the Gothic’s engagement, by way of its unique necropolitics and necropoetics, with death’s challenges to all systems of meaning, and its relationship to the culturally contingent concepts of memento mori, subjectivity, spectrality, and corporeal transcendence. Attentive to our defamiliarization with death since the advent of enlightened modernity and the death-related anxieties engendered by that transition, The gothic and death combines detailed attention to socio-historical and cultural contexts with rigorous close readings of artistic, literary, televisual, and cinematic works. This surprisingly underexplored area of enquiry is considered by way of such popular and uncanny figures as corpses, ghosts, zombies, and vampires, and across various cultural and literary forms as Graveyard Poetry, Romantic poetry, Victorian literature, nineteenth-century Italian and Russian literature, Anglo-American film and television, contemporary Young Adult fiction, Bollywood film noir, and new media technologies that complicate our ideas of mourning, haunting, and the "afterlife" of the self.

The Gothic, death, and modernity
Carol Margaret Davison
in The Gothic and death
Rechnological necromancy and E. Elias Merhige’s Shadow of the Vampire
Carol Margaret Davison

Taking as its point of focus E. Elias Merhige’s Shadow of the Vampire (2000), a cinematic mise-en-abîme homage to, and a self-referential twenty-first century commentary on F. W. Murnau’s Nosferatu, this essay examines vampire cinema as an emblem of ‘technological necromancy’ that mediates our ambivalent responses to modernity, its proliferating technologies, and death in the wake of the secularising Enlightenment whose driving ideal – rational empiricism – undermined long established Christian certainties about the existence and nature of a soul and an afterlife. This essay reads Shadow as a compelling and sedimented, twenty-first century meditation on the nefarious, desensitizing impact of our cultural addiction to visual technologies, in which the vampire is used to mirror its audience. Shadow is also assessed as an interrogation of the gender and racial politics of cinematic spectatorship – particularly the influence and impact of pornography and propaganda cinema.

in The Gothic and death
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
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