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Gothic Nature: New Directions in Eco-horror and the EcoGothic

Friday, 17 November – Saturday, 18 November 2017

Gothic Nature: New Directions in Eco-horror and the EcoGothic

‘Horror is becoming the environmental norm.’ —Sara L. Crosby
Gothic and horror fictions have long functioned as vivid reflections of contemporary cultural fears. Wood argues that horror is ‘the struggle for recognition of all that our society represses or oppresses’, and Newman puts forward the idea that it ‘actively eliminates and exorcises our fears by allowing them to be relegated to the imaginary realm of fiction’. 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.
As we inch ever closer toward an anthropogenic ecological crisis, this type of fiction demands our attention. In 2009, Simon Estok highlighted the importance of ‘ecophobia’ in representations of nature, emphasising the need for ecocriticism to acknowledge the ‘irrational and groundless hatred of the natural world’ present in contemporary society. Tom J. Hillard responded to Estok’s call ‘to talk about how fear of the natural world is a definable and recognizable discourse’, suggesting that ‘we need look no further than the rich and varied vein of critical approaches used to investigate fear in literature.’ What happens, he asks, ‘when we bring the critical tools associated with Gothic fiction to bear on writing about 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. We are especially interested in papers/panels which address ecocritical theory and endeavour to define and discern the distinctions between ‘ecohorror’ and ‘ecogothic’. We welcome academic papers from a variety of different subject backgrounds, as well as interdisciplinary work. Additionally, we also encourage creative submissions from artists and performers whose work intersects with these themes, and hope to provide a platform for a variety of print and performance art at the conference.

Confirmed Keynotes: Dr William Hughes (Bath Spa University) and Dr Jenny Bavidge (Cambridge University).
Additional Information:

Your conference ticket covers both days of this two-day interdisciplinary and international conference, entry to an introductory talk and live reading of a new production of Bram Stoker's Dracula, and admittance to the wine reception on the Saturday evening.

Book your tickets here 

Campus LocationTrinity Long Room Hub Arts and Humanities Research Institute
Accessibility: Yes
Room: Neill Lecture Theatre
Event Category: Arts and Culture, Conferences, Lectures and Seminars, Public
Type of Event: One-time event
Audience: Undergrad, Postgrad, Alumni, Faculty & Staff, Public
Cost: €48.45 – €90.97

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