The Gothic and death

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.

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Winner of the Allan Lloyd Smith Prize Edited Collections Prize, 2019

 

‘The Gothic and death is an interesting and varied collection that explores many compelling cultural themes through a range of seemingly disparate texts. In doing so, the work achieves a rare unity for an edited collection – attempting perhaps the widest scope it could have, most students or scholars of the Gothic will find something of interest here. The topics of individual essays may not lend themselves immediately to the scholarship of others, but the ideas that run through the collection as a whole will likely speak far more broadly. The highest recommendation for The Gothic and death is that it lends itself to reading as a unified whole, and not merely as a collection of individual essays.'
Richard Gough Thomas
The Dark Arts Journal

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