Saturday, 17 November 2012

CFP: New Perspectives on the Gothic in the Age of Terror(ism): The Horror? The Horror!

A special issue of Gothic Studies journal

This special issue will examine what happens to the Gothic as a literary and filmic genre along its main thematic lines in the post 9/11 era and its age of terror(ism):

• the staging of the Other (the irrational, the monstrous, the uncanny)
• the staging of death and violence (light vs. darkness, good vs. evil, tragic vs. abject)
• the staging of community and the social (including the border and the law)
• the instability of the modern subject

1. What ‘happens’ to these themes? How are they modified? altered? Has 9/11 and the pervasive sense of global terror changed our understanding of terror? What about the place of capitalism and the crisis? What images and protagonists has this new Gothic proposed in what can be called an ‘imagination’ of disaster?

2. What new fears are being addressed and represented by the Gothic, including visually within the cinema and in the recent proliferation of television series? What loss? What guilt?

3. What is the place of race and ethnicity in this epistemological landscape? Can the concepts of ‘mimicry’ (Bhabha) and ‘differAnce’ (Derrida) be used to revisit the theoretical foundations of the Gothic? Can we talk about a ‘racial Gothic’ as Leonardo Cassuto spoke of a ‘racial grotesque’?

4. The case of the Southern Gothic, and the encounter with what has been left at the margin, could be explored within the theoretical framework proposed by Kristeva in the Powers of Horror, by AnzaldĂșa in Borderlands or by Agamben in Homo Sacer. Can we also talk about a New Southern Gothic?

5. How does the Gothic engage with religion in our increasingly secular and yet religiously polarized world?

6. What happens to the question of ‘knowledge’?

7. How does the commercial success and mainstreaming of Gothic in the last decade affect its ability to figure terror and resistance to terror?

8. How has the Gothic responded to the constant state of war since 2001? What about the weaponization of various technologies, including video games? How have drones, Predators, Reapers and other mechanized death machines impacted the Gothic imagination?

9. How have Gothic texts outside of the US responded to the attack on the World Trade Center and America’s militarized and violent response? How does Canadian Gothic position itself in relation to the politics of post-9/11 America? What about Mexican or South American Gothic?

10. How have new technologies impacted the literary or visual Gothic? For example, the explosion of hand-held camera horror films, night vision sequences and closed-circuit video imagery?

Proposals (500 words) and brief CVs should be addressed to both editors of the volume by 1 June 2013.

Agnieszka Soltysik Monnet (University of Lausanne) and Marie Lienard-Yeterian (Université de Nice-Sophia Antipolis)

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