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Editors: Agnes Andeweg and Sue Zlosnik

Although the preoccupation of Gothic storytelling with the family has often been observed, it invites a more systematic exploration. Gothic Kinship brings together case studies of Gothic kinship ties in film and literature and offers a synthesis and theoretical exploration of the different appearances of the Gothic family. The volume explores the cultural mediation of the shifting relations of kinship and power in gothic fictionfrom the eighteenth century up to the present day. Writers discussed include early British Gothic writers such as Eleanor Sleath and Louisa Sidney Stanhope as well as a range of later authors writing in English, including Elizabeth Gaskell, William March, Stephen King, Poppy Z. Brite, Patricia Duncker, J. K. Rowling and Audrey Niffenegger. There are also essays on Dutch authors (Louis Couperus and Renate Dorrestein) and on the film directors Wes Craven and Steven Sheil.

Arranged chronologically, the various contributions show that both early and contemporary Gothic display very diverse kinship ties, ranging from metaphorical to triangular, from queer to nuclear-patriarchal. Gothic proves to be a rich source of expressing both subversive and conservative notions of the family.

James Baldwin’s Just Above My Head
Jenny M. James

This article considers James Baldwin’s last published novel, Just Above My Head (1979), as the culmination of his exploration of kinship, reflecting on the ways distance and loss characterize African-American familial relations. By analyzing Baldwin’s representation of Hall Montana’s relationship to, and mourning of, his younger brother Arthur, this article argues that JAMH revises the terms of the black family to imagine an alternative, errant kinship that is adoptive, migratory, and sustained through songs of joy and grief. My approach to the novel’s portrayal of kinship is indebted to Édouard Glissant’s Poetics of Relation (1990), in which he defines “errantry” as a fundamental characteristic of diaspora that resists the claustrophobic, filial violence and territorial dispossession that are slavery’s legacies. Baldwin represents errant kinship in JAMH through his inclusion of music and formal experimentation. Departing from previous scholarship that reads JAMH as emblematic of the author’s artistic decline, I interpret the novel’s numerous syntactic and figurative experiments as offering new formal insight into his portrait of brotherly love. Baldwin’s integration of two distinctive leitmotifs, blood and song, is therefore read as a formal gesture toward a more capacious and migratory kinship.

James Baldwin Review
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Agnes Andeweg and Sue Zlosnik

Sedgwick onwards, whether it be castle or suburban villa, is intrinsically related to the kinship ties within it, ties that both bind and oppress. From The Castle of Otranto , through ‘The Fall of the House of Usher’ to the parodic The Addams Family , families loom large in Gothic. It is perhaps no coincidence either that Gothic’s historical trajectory coincides with the emergence of the modern

in Gothic kinship
Patricia Duncker’s The Deadly Space Between and The Civil Partnership Act
Anne Quéma

for difference and sameness, radicalism and assimilation. In all cases, we see the cultural sphere renaming and unnaming the norms of kinship and affiliation through their practices and symbolic power. The definition of the family in matrimonial, para-, or quasimatrimonial terms becomes a ground for competition: at stake is the socio-political desire for recognition and for maintaining terms of

in Gothic kinship
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Maternal kinship in Rowling’s Harry Potter series
Ranita Chatterjee

informs the entire series. While the subject of death itself is not Gothic, a narrative about the porous boundaries between life and death may very well be. We will recall that the central relationship/kinship that frames and animates all seven books between the boy hero Harry Potter and his nemesis Tom Riddle – infamously known as Lord Voldemort or the Dark Lord – involves their mutual death

in Gothic kinship
Kamilla Elliott

concerned solely with matters of courtship and marriage … contest the reigning notion of kinship relations that attached most power and privilege to certain family lines’ (p. 5). Valombre touts ‘love’ as ‘the boasted prerogative of nature’, ‘the master-passion, which subdues man’s lordly mind’ (Vol. 4, 247; 251). Here Mother Nature asserts herself in a masculine, aristocratic rhetoric of prerogative

in Gothic kinship
Couperus and colonial Gothic
Rosemarie Buikema

literature. Evaluating the complex load of Gothic machinations in The Hidden Force therefore means that Couperus’s great East Indies novel should not only be read against the background of the changing Dutch colonial policy of around 1900: in particular, it should also be related to the corresponding specific kinship relations such as they were engrained in notions of masculinity, femininity and European

in Gothic kinship
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Euro-American orphans, gender, genre, and cultural memory
Maria Holmgren Troy, Elizabeth Kella and Helena Wahlström

3 Literary kinships: Euro-American orphans, gender, genre, and cultural memory The writers I most consciously respond to are the nineteenth-century American writers like Melville, Dickinson, Poe, and Twain. (Robinson, 1992: 157) Though literary orphanhood has carried different meanings in different historical periods, it has often worked as a prism, refracting and reflecting ideas about national identity and belonging. The canonization of orphan tales and the popularity of genres featuring literal or metaphorical orphans, particularly in the nineteenth century

in Making home
Neal Curtis

6 Symbolic authority and kinship We have seen that the primary political act of the sovereign is to define who is friend and who is enemy; who is protected as part of the community and who is excluded or banished. This suggests that an understanding of kinship is also essential to any analysis of sovereignty. Understood from this perspective, the sovereign is a symbolic authority organising, regulating and policing the activities of those who live within a territory. The fact that the sovereign traditionally has his analogue in the despot (despotēs in Greek) or

in Sovereignty and superheroes
Native American orphans and sovereignty
Maria Holmgren Troy, Elizabeth Kella and Helena Wahlström

2 From captivity to kinship: Native American ­orphans and sovereignty If our struggle is anything, it is the struggle for sovereignty, and if ­sovereignty is anything, it is a way of life. (Warrior, 1995: 123) Multiculturalism fits uneasily with Native America. As we have seen, multiculturalism is at once a descriptive and a normative concept of cultural difference, purporting to account in neutral ways for the actual racial or ethnic diversity of a politically ‘unified’ American nation, while also affirming cultural distinctiveness in the face of the

in Making home