CFPs and Events: Horror, Gothic poetry, monstrosity and Romanticism, Gothic books, Georgic Gothic

1. Horror Studies Now: A Two-Day Conference

Northumbria University, UK, 30-31 May 2024.
Deadline: 31 March 2024

Researchers working in the broad field of “Horror Studies” are invited to submit abstracts about their research for an in-person conference, hosted by the Horror Studies Research Group at Northumbria University (UK), on 30-31 May 2024. The event will be free to attend.

Speakers will each deliver a 15-minute talk about their research, followed by extended discussion and questions from the conference delegation. We invite submissions from scholars at any career stage, but we particularly welcome abstracts from early career researchers and new voices in the field. The event is intended to provide a supportive space in which to develop new ideas, network, and forge new collaborations with fellow Horror Studies researchers.

2. Poetry and the Gothic

Edited collection.
Deadline 15 May 2024

Poetry has been an integral part of the Gothic mode since its inception. However, the connection between poetry and the Gothic seems a less explored area of critical inquiry, in comparison to fiction. While the Graveyard Poets and other Anglophone poetry movements are already considered foundational to the Gothic mode, our edited collection seeks to broaden the scope of what can be conceived of as “Gothic poetry” or poetry inspired by the Gothic.

We welcome papers that take a flexible view of the Gothic, locating it in various cultural contexts and languages from the long 18th century to the 21st century. We also welcome those who take a more historicist view of the Gothic to submit their work. What constitutes a Gothic poet? How do we conceptualize Gothic poetry differently from other genres? We invite essays that rethink the connection between poetry and the Gothic. Investigations of Gothic poetry and its connection to other genres and media are also welcome.

3. BARS Digital Event: Gothic Monstrosity and Romanticism

Online: Thursday, April 11 · 5 – 6:30pm GMT+1

Although the role of terror in aesthetic experiences is a commonplace in Romantic criticism, the problematic nature of monstrosity itself beyond narratives of anxiety remains to be explored systematically. This panel considers the intersections between the emergence of monster literature proper – through figures such as Lord Ruthven in John Polidori’s ‘The Vampyre’ (1819) and the creature in Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein (1818) – and the ways in which monstrous constructions inform the Romantic Gothic. Moving beyond the premise that the monsters of the early Gothic are Romantic figures, this panel seeks to interrogate how Romantic monstrosity translates into depictions of space – and what this means for negotiations of agency. While the sublime is linked to human experience and hence to an anthropocentric vision, this panel seeks to locate monstrosity as a mechanism by which the non-human undermines the human. Surveying a range of texts by Ann Radcliffe, Anne Bannerman, Mary Robinson, Mary Shelley, and John Polidori, the panel explores the depiction and performance of monstrosity in the Romantic Gothic with a view to highlighting its centrality and its distinction from sublime terror. Finally, looking forward, through an analysis of Yorgos Lanthimos’ Poor Things (2023), which draws on Shelley’s Frankenstein, we suggest a genealogy of constructions of monstrosity rooted in Romanticism, considering what this means for contemporary narratives of liminality.

4. Gothic Book Launch: Graveyard Gothic, Matthew Gregory Lewis, Gothic Voices

Thursday, May 16 · 5 – 6:30pm GMT+1
Hybrid event
Lecture Theatre 3, Ground Floor, Geoffrey Manton Building
Rosamond Street West, Manchester, M15 6EB

Join us at Manchester Metropolitan University to hear more about three exciting new publications in Gothic Studies which address new debates relating to death, screen studies, Gothic and Romantic literary culture and sound studies.

This celebratory launch will showcase the cutting-edge interdisciplinary research and archival work undertaken by members of our Manchester Centre for Gothic Studies and their international collaborators. We are delighted that Eric Parisot will be joining us online from Adelaide, Australia and David McAllister will join us in person from London to speak about their editing roles on Graveyard Gothic.

This is a free hybrid event, so you are welcome to join us either on campus in central Manchester or online via Teams. If booking via Teams, the link will be emailed to you three days before the event and as a reminder at lunchtime on the day of the event itself.

5. Georgic Gothic: EcoGothic, Antipastoral and Global Horror

Essay collection proposed for International Gothic Series, Manchester University Press.
Deadline: 6 December 2024

In their most recent overview of ecoGothic research, William Hughes and Andrew Smith note the prevalence of ‘intersecting and fruitful links between animals, plants, and food’ and that ‘Gothic engagements with food have become a significant area of investigation’ in recent studies. Agriculture is also filled with risk, personal and existential. Tales of horror arise from fear of nonhuman nature overpowering the human. These fears collide at the agricultural interface – the field, the wood, the cow.

EcoGothic can provide ways of questioning assumptions about human actions and lifestyles, even when they appear positive, and this interrogation can help to change the relationships between human, nonhuman, or more than human Others. Climate breakdown increases pressure on farmers, especially those striving for some alleviation through agriculture itself.

Environmental studies have recently come to revisit the georgic mode, by which agriculture and its labour can be depicted. In Virgil’s long poem, the Georgics, there is an insistent recognition that farm labour is ‘relentless’, often with meagre reward, and that both practice and politics of land ownership can be dangerous. However, Virgil also detailed the intimate, reciprocal relationship with nonhuman, and how hope was an ever present impulse to further endeavour. Novels, paintings and now films and digital media add to earlier poetic genres, offering new perspectives on ancient combinations of hope and misery. Unease permeates agricultural writing: farming hurts – there are well known examples such as Thomas Hardy’s Tess of the D’Urbervilles (1891) – hard labour alongside brutal machinery.

EcoGothic offers a way of way of examining the balance between hope and experience, Virgil’s ‘Fate’, ally and enemy in one. ‘Staying with the trouble’, as Donna Haraway has explored, can be a way of working through disaster. At the beginning of her text, Haraway includes the georgic impulse to recreate through the earth: ‘we require each other in unexpected collaborations and combinations, in hot compost piles’. Compost – decay – renews the earth.

This essay collection seeks contributions that investigate the connections between gothic and georgic which are not limited to the downsides of darkness, but explore how the mysterious, uncanny and disruptive provoke responses in their ability to influence minds and behaviours in order to improve multispecies engagement. Contributors can source material from any nation or period: fiction, creative nonfiction, poetry, film and digital. Of particular interest is farming beyond the UK, for example in Ireland and Australia, Africa and Asia, places that nourish their own ecoGothic elements.

Please direct enquiries and send abstracts as Word docs (400 words plus short bio) to Sue Edney by 31st May 2024. If accepted, you will be invited to submit a draft chapter of up to 7000 words by 6th December 2024.

About William the Bloody

Cat lover. 18C scholar on the dialogue and novel. Co-convenor OGOM Project
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