Coronagothic 30th June 2020

Those who are wondering how the Gothic might respond to the current crisis will be interested in this new event. It is called Coronagothic and it is an online flash conference hosted by @UMGothic (Gothic Research Network at the University of Macau in China). It takes place via Zoom 10am BST Tues 30 June. I will be one of nine academics from Asia, Europe, and the UK and we will discuss the cultural implications of Covid-19. It is free to register but there are limited places .

Amabie Festival

My paper is entitled ‘Analysing Amabie: A fragment in the Life of the monstrous mermaid revived to ward off coronavirus’.

I will draw on Jeffrey Jerome Cohen’s seven theses of monster culture to examine Amabie, a Japanese mermaid monster from the Edo- period, revived to ward off Coronavirus in 2020. I argue that in cultural moments such as this, our understanding of crises is best understood via the hybrid creatures they engender.


So who is Amabie?  Japanese Twitter is currently inundated with depictions of this yōkai , a squat, duck-billed creature with a scaly body, long hair and three webbed feet. But why? For the answer, you have to go back to mid-May 1846, when a town official from what is now Kumamoto prefecture on the island of Kyushu went down to the sea to investigate reports of glowing lights. There he encountered a strange mermaid-like creature. “I am Amabie who lives in the sea,” it said. “For the next six years, there will be abundant crops across the land, but there will also be epidemics. Show my picture to people as soon as you can.” Then Amabie was gone.

Continue reading about the pandemic defeating monster here

If you are intrigued, please do register and keep an eye on @UMGothic on Twitter

The Proposed Schedule

Prposed 30 June 2020

30th June 10 a.m. British Summer Time / 5.p.m Macau time

09.55 – Welcome from Prof. Victoria Harrison (University of Macau)

10.00 – Prof. Nick Groom (University of Macau)

10.10 – Prof. Bill Hughes (University of Macau)

10.20 – Questions

10.30 – Prof. Mariaconcetta Costantini (G. D’Annunzio University of Chieti-Pescara)

10.40 – Dr Sam George (University of Hertfordshire)

10.50 – Questions

11.00 – Prof. Steve Hinchliffe (University of Exeter)

11.10 – Prof. Darryl Jones (Trinity College, Dublin)

11.20 – Questions

11.30 – Prof. David Punter (University of Bristol)

11.40 – Prof. Corinna Wagner (University of Exeter)

11.50 – Questions

12.00 – Closing questions/remarks from Prof. Victoria Harrison (University of Macau)

You should draw Amabie to ward off Coronavirus!!

About Sam George

Associate Professor of Research, School of Humanities, University of Hertfordshire Co-convenor OGOM Project
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3 Responses to Coronagothic 30th June 2020

  1. Renata Philippov says:

    Please keep me posted on updates

    • William the Bloody says:

      Hi Renata,
      Thanks for your interest! If you scroll down the right-hand side of the blog, you will see a Subscribe button–this will keep you updated about blog posts. We will also add you to our mailing list and you can follow us on Twitter via @OGOMProject.
      Best wishes,

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