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'Gothic Nature: New Directions in Ecohorror and the Ecogothic’ - Conference

The conference 'Gothic Nature: New Directions in Ecohorror and the Ecogothic’ will take place in the Long Room Hub on November 17th and 18th, 2017.

Gothic and horror fictions have long functioned as vivid reflections of contemporary cultural fears. Now, more than ever, the environment has become a locus of those fears for many people, and this conference seeks to investigate the wide range of Gothic- and horror-inflected texts that tackle the darker side of nature. Gothic Nature seeks to address this question, interrogating the place of non-human nature in horror and the Gothic today, and showcasing the most exciting and innovative research currently being conducted in the field.  Academic papers from a variety of different subject areas will be presented by scholars from all over the world , as well as creative submissions from artists and performers.


Conference Registration

Conference Programme

DAY ONE: Friday 17th November

09:15-09:45: Registration at the Trinity Long Room Hub
09:45-10:00: Official welcome/opening address
10:00-11:40: Panels 1A and 1B
Panel 1A: ‘Waves of Horror: Gothic Oceans and Monstrous Sea Beasts’
Chair: Dara Downey

  • Joan Passey: The Howling Seas: Seascapes and Soundscapes in Victorian Cornish Gothic Fiction
  • Matthias Stephan: The Rising Seas and the Drowned Towers: Environmental Apocalypse in George Turner’s The Sea and Summer
  • Emily Alder: Underwater Plastic Frankenstein
  • Noelle Mann: “Don’t Go Into the Water!” Merrymaids and Silkies in Irish and Scottish Traveller Folklore

Panel 1B: ‘Eco-horror and the Ecogothic: American Contexts I’
Chair: Elly McCausland

  • Bernice Murphy: American Wilderness and The Witch
  • Matthew Wynn Sivils: The Blood-Fed Soil: Racial Trauma and American Ecogothic
  • Sarah Cullen: The Nocturnal Gothic in 19th Century American Literature
  • Emily Bourke: Home-Sick: Ecofeminism and Environmental Justice in The Stepford Wives and Safe

11:40-11:55: Tea/coffee in the atrium
11:55-13:15: Panels 2A and 2B
Panel 2A: ‘Gothic Landscapes: Islands, Ice, and the Country’
Chair: Michael Fuchs

  • Ian Kinane: The Empire Shites Back: Scatology, Somatic Geographies, and the Gothic Island
  • Johanna Grabow: “Great God! This is an Awful Place.” Ecohorror and Ecogothic in
  • Derek Johnston: The Sublime Horror of the English Countryside

Panel 2B: ‘Eco Monsters: Zombies, Vampires, and Trolls’
Chair: Dominic Rainsford

  • Sarah Cleary: Going Green: Mother Nature Bites Back in The Girl with All the Gifts
  • Kaja Franck: Trip-trapping over the Landscape: Trolls as ecoGothic Warriors in Johanna Sinsalo’s Not Before Sundown
  • Esperanza Mallagray Hernández: The Land Beyond the Forest: The Nature of the Vampire in Dracula

13:15-14:15: Lunch (available locally)
14:15-15:35: Panels 3A and 3B
Panel 3A: ‘Into the Ecogothic Woods: Trees and Forests of Horror’
Chair: Tracy Fahey

  • Dawn Keetley: The (Horrifying) Agency of Trees
  • Elizabeth Parker: ‘She was an Old Lady with the Fur of a Horse’: Woodland Witches and the Evolution of the Blair Witch
  • Jen Baker: Eco-Nurseries of the Afterlife: Natural Spaces and the Dead-Child Spirit

Panel 3B: ‘Critical Approaches: New Materialism, Derrida, and Colonialism’
Chair: Maria Beville

  • Peter Mortensen: “It Was Toward the End of Our Interview that She Tried to Poison Me”:
    Toxic and Intoxicated Selfhood in Karen Blixen’s Gothic Stories
  • Tymon Adamczewski: Inhospitality
  • Brandyn Whitaker: We’re Not in the Black Hills Forest Anymore: Recreation of the Colonial Wilderness in Recent Horror Films

15:35-15:50: Tea/coffee in the atrium
15:50-16:50: Keynote One
Chair: Elizabeth Parker

  • Jenny Bavidge: The Scared, The Sacred, and the Shared: The Ethics of the Ecogothic

17:00-19:00: Theatre Showcase

  • ‘Kiss Me With Those Red Lips’: An Adaptation of Bram Stoker’s Dracula by Paul Murray

19:00: Conference dinner locally

DAY TWO: Saturday 18th November

09:00-10:40: Panels 4A and 4B
Panel 4A: ‘Monstrous Vegetality and Themes of the Anthropocene’
Chair: Emily Bourke

  • Kate Harvey: Ecological Phantasmagoria: Grotesque Vegetation and the Gothic Mind
  • Elly McCausland: From the Plant of Life to the Throat of Death: Freakish Flora in Late Nineteenth- and Early Twentieth-Century Lost World Novels
  • Natalie Dederichs: Deadly Entertaining Disasters: the Significance of Mediated Landscapes of Fear in Climate Fiction
  • Michael Fuchs: Learning to Die in the Anthropocene: The End of Human Dominance over Nature in The Last of Us

Panel 4B: ‘Eco-horror and the Ecogothic: American Contexts II’
Chair: Emily Alder

  • Laura Joyce: Colorado’s Deadly Landscapes: Jonbenet, Columbine, and The Shining
  • Stephen Joyce: Ecogothic and Ecohorror: The Loney and The Road
  • Daniel Otto Jack Petersen: Terra Damnata: The Texas-Mexico Wilderness as Man-Eating Hyperobject in Cormac McCarthy’s Blood Meridian

10:40-10:55: Tea/coffee in the atrium
10:55-12:15: Panels 5A and 5B
Panel 5A: ‘Celtic Eco-horrors: Irish Folklore’
Chair: Sarah Cleary

  • Maria Beville: Things Among the Trees: Irish Folk Monsters in Lorcan Finnegan’s Without Name
  • Ken Duffy: Gods, Fairies and the Sídhe: The Forbidden Landscape of the Sídhe in Medieval Irish Literature and Folklore
  • Tracy Fahy: Irish Ecogothic: The Reanimation of Folk Traditions in Irish Contemporary Culture

Panel 5B: ‘The Literary Ecogothic: Machen, Klein, and Blackwood’
Chair: Matthias Stephan

  • Susan Yi Sencindiver: Lively Matter and New Materialism in Arthur Machen’s The Great God Pan
  • Dara Downey: Blood, Dirt, and Pennyroyal: Evil Feminised Nature in Thomas Tryon’s Harvest Home and T.E.D. Klein’s The Ceremonies
  • Michelle Poland: “Sinister Yet Invisible”: Unveiling Anotherness, Algernon Blackwood, and the Ecogothic Imagination

12:15-13:15: Eco-horror/Ecogothic Readings: Poetry and Prose
Chair: Noelle Mann

  • Marian Womack: Reading from forthcoming EcoGothic collection Lost Objects
  • Arthur Seefahrt: Reading from You Can’t Blame the Tyger

13:15-14:15: Lunch (available locally)
14:15-15:35: Panels 6A and 6B
Panel 6A: ‘Eco-horror and the Ecogothic: British Contexts’
Chair: Ian Kinane

  • Danielle Howarth: Fear and Loathing in Camelot: Arboreal Imagery and the Medieval Ecogothic in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight
  • Sean Matharoo: Ecocolonial Horror in J. G. Ballard’s The Drowned World
  • Zsófia Jakab: The Dark Ecology of Tessa Farmer’s Fairy Tales

Panel 6B: ‘When Nature Bites Back: Animal Horror’
Chair: Derek Johnston

  • Dominic Rainsford: Sick Humans, Mutant Animals, Eco-social Pathology, and Fun in Nicola Barker’s Wide Open
  • Gry Faurholt: ‘The Thing with Feathers’: du Maurier’s “The Birds” and the Uncanny Anthropomorphism of Animal Attack Horror
  • Sune Borkfelt: Staring Your Meal Square in the Eye: The Slaughterhouse as Gothic Space

15:35-15:50: Tea/coffee in the atrium
15:50-16:50: Keynote Two
Chair: Bernice Murphy

  • William Hughes: “The Evil of Our Collective Soul”: Zombies, Ecoterrorism and Environmental Apocalypse

17:00: Wine Reception