liberal humanitarian institutions, which have depended on the financial and political capital of
the US. Far from promoting a final and permanent peace, the new security strategy situates the US in an
inter-state system in which war is possible at any time, in any location, with any rival, enemy
or former ally. How might we explain this apparent shift in American strategy? A growing number of analysts, particularly NorthAmericans, consider that we are seeing the end
of the post-war liberal order. And they attribute liberal crisis to two fundamental factors
A Model for Historical Reflection in the Humanitarian Sector
Kevin O’Sullivan and Réiseal Ní Chéilleachair
Introduction In October 2016 the New York Review of Books published an article by
International Rescue Committee President David Miliband titled ‘The Best Ways
to Deal with the Refugee Crisis’. It began with a predictable target. US
Presidential candidate Donald Trump’s claims about a ‘tremendous
flow’ of Syrian refugees making their way to NorthAmerica were based in
‘myth, not fact’, Miliband wrote ( Miliband, 2016 ). Not only that: they also openly belittled the
The article surveys two centuries of Gothic Revivals in the architecture and popular culture of the United States, from the Carpenter Gothic of 1830-1860 through the castle-building of the Gilded Age and the Gothic Revival structures of the early twentieth century to todays Renaissance Faires. American Gothic is fantastic, ‘reviving’ a time and place that never existed on those shores. The earlier Gothic Revival castles represented an aristocratic and anti-democratic tradition, while in the twentieth century, Gothic revival styles are postmodern and ephemeral. These outward manifestations of the Gothic image in America show how fascination with the medieval was transformed from a pastime of the wealthy few to the masscult many, one way in which North America has appropriated and transformed the European Middle Ages through serious architectural practice and market-driven parody of the Gothic.
This essay introduces this special issue on ‘Romanticism and the “New Gothic”’, which contains revisions of essays presented at a special seminar at the 1999 joint conferences of the International Gothic Association (IGA) and the North American Society for the Study of Romanticism (NASSR) held in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Hogle argues that the ‘Gothic’ as a highly counterfeit and generically mixed mode in the eighteenth century was a quite new, rather than revived old, aesthetic which allowed for the disguised projection - or really abjection - of current middle-class cultural fears into symbols that only seemed antiquated, supernatural, or monstrous on the surface. Romantic writers thus faced this mode as a symbolic location where feared anomalies of their own moment could be faced and displaced, and such writers reacted to this possibility using some similar and quite different techniques. Post-Romantic writers, in turn, ranging from Emily Dickinson all the way to the writers and directors of modern films with Gothic elements, have since proceeded to make the Gothic quite new again, in memory of and reaction to Romantic-era uses of the new Gothic. This recurrent remaking of the Gothic comes less from the survival of certain features and more from the cultural purposes of displacing new fears into symbols that recall both the eighteenth-century Gothic and Romantic redactions of it. The papers in this special issue cover different points in this history of a complex relationship among aesthetic modes.