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CFP: Gothic Studies Special Issue "The Gothic and Death" (12/1/2013; 3/31/2014)

Advanced by way of various conventions and symbols, memento mori — “Remember that you will die” — is Gothic literature’s greatest cautionary warning.  Although Peter Walmsley has suggested that this reminder to live with death in view is “the peculiar property of the British psyche,” it has required much repeating given what Edward Young identifies in his famous Night Thoughts (1742) as a universal tendency towards death denial:  “All men think all men mortal but themselves.”  Despite Geoffrey Gorer’s claim that death became the new pornography in the 20th century, uses of the Gothic mode continue to register an ongoing fascination with the Death Question that often vacillates, in various imaginative ways, between repression and acknowledgement.

Proposals for individual or collaborative papers are invited on the idea of the Gothic and death, decay, and the afterlife.  The editor is particularly interested in proposals that will theorize the Gothic’s engagement with this fixation trans-historically, trans-nationally, and trans-culturally.  Proposals from diverse theoretical perspectives ranging across different genres and mediums (poetry, fiction, film, graphic novels, etc.) are especially welcome.  Possible topics might include (but are not limited to):
  • the afterlife and undead afterlives — zombies, angels, vampires, ghosts, etc.
  • the corpse — abject, female, anatomized, and otherwise
  • danse macabre
  • acts/rites of mourning & memorializing — personal and national
  • death of the author/reader
  • dead women/deadly women
  • the sanitization/medicalization of death
  • decay and ruin
  • live burial; gothic resurrections
  • femme fatale/homme fatal
  • spiritualism, séances, voodoo, and the Occult
  • sex and death
  • the aesthetics of death
  • death and the visual arts/visual technologies
  • Victorian necroculture
  • manner of death:  suicide (self murder); homicide; the war dead; mass murder; sudden death; capital punishment (torture, executions, serial killings)
  • elegies and epitaphs
  • symbolic/figurative death
  • death and the double
  • death and/by technology
  • graveyards and graveyard poetry
  • the death drive
  • ars moriendi — the “Art of dying,” death/consolation manuals
  • the Good death/bad death
  • dead children
  • wills, funerals, wakes

Please send electronic copies of proposals of approximately 500 words and a 100-word bio by December 1, 2013, to Dr. Carol Margaret Davison, Professor and Head, Department of English Language, Literature and Creative Writing, University of Windsor (cdavison@uwindsor.ca).  Notices of acceptance will follow shortly thereafter with completed essays of approximately 6000 words (including endnotes) due by March 31, 2014.
The official journal of the International Gothic Studies Association considers the field of Gothic studies from the eighteenth century to the present day. The aim of Gothic Studies is not merely to open a forum for dialogue and cultural criticism, but to provide a specialist journal for scholars working in a field which is today taught or researched in almost all academic establishments. Gothic Studies invites contributions from scholars working within any period of the Gothic; interdisciplinary scholarship is especially welcome, as are readings in the media and beyond the written word.
For more information on Gothic Studies, including submission guidelines and subscription recommendations, please see the journals website: http://www.manchesteruniversitypress.co.uk/journals/gs
To view Gothic Studies online, see here:http://manchester.metapress.com/content/1362-7937  
To sign up to alerts for Gothic Studies, see here: https://manchester.metapress.com/content/122707/toc-alert  

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