GOTHIC SPACES Houses, Landscapes, Bodies
This two-day conference aims to reconsider the importance of the house, its environs, and its occupants in Gothic fiction. The house is an image vital to Gothic fiction, yet it is often taken for granted as the site of haunting and the home of monsters. From the castles of Ann Radcliffe that conceal violence and threaten the protagonist with economic and physical ruin, to the sites of domestic murders in Edgar Allan Poe’s tales of the grotesque, to the uncanny homes in the works of Shirley Jackson, readers encounter inhabited Gothic spaces constantly. Yet published works and lectures that specifically consider the Gothic house as a locus of haunting and monsters remain few. Building upon theoretical works such as Gaston Bachelard’s The Poetics of Space, Diana Fuss’s The Sense of an Interior and Anthony Vidler’s The Architectural Uncanny and Warped Space that allude to architectural spaces in literature as the locus of cultural haunting, this conference will expand the dialogue on Gothic houses in literature and media studies. The conference welcomes papers from
a range of perspectives on the Gothic house, but papers on other aspects of the Gothic will be accepted as long as space and spatial dimensions remain the focus.
With sufficient interest, the conference organizers intend to publish a volume of collected essays from presenters; details to follow on the conference website.
We welcome proposals for papers from academic scholars in all stages of their careers. Topics of interest that presenters might write on (but are by no means limited to):
-Gothic houses and homes
-Haunted landscapes surrounding or near to houses (forests, farms, roads)
-Gendered readings of Gothic texts
-Urban, suburban, or rural spaces
-Specters/ghosts and spectral histories
-Houses as monstrous spaces
-Cultural studies examinations of urban legends and ghost stories focusing on the house
-Phenomenologies/philosophies of space and the Gothic
-Uncanny inhabitants/occupants of Gothic spaces
-Gothic spaces that endanger their inhabitants
*Critical readings of the Gothic house in relation to social issues are especially welcome.
*Examinations of lesser-known and/or contemporary literary works, and visual/media works are also welcome.ה