Queer Gothic

  • Russell, D. E. (Chair)
  • William Brewer (Invited speaker)
  • Ardel Haefele-Thomas (Invited speaker)
  • Evan Hayles-Gledhill (Invited speaker)

Activity: Participating in or organising an eventSeminar/workshop/course


“Gothic has, in a sense, always been ‘queer’”, argue William Hughes and Andrew Smith, “poised astride the uneasy cultural boundary that separates the acceptable and familiar from the troubling and different”. From its early days, Gothic literature’s interest in hidden histories allowed it to explore things that went unsaid in mainstream culture. Its evocation of the strange and fearful offered the opportunity to reconfigure and reclaim ideas of the monstrous and the weird. Its focus on transgression made it possible to destabilise assumptions about sexuality and gender. Terry Castle has claimed that the lesbian was “ghosted” from Western literature for centuries. What better place to find that ghost – and all her queer siblings – than the Gothic?

This seminar explored a range of Gothic texts from the long nineteenth century. It examined how these works trouble dominant narratives, generating new approaches to desire and identity – and new ways of thinking about Gothic Women.
Period23 May 2022
Event typeSeminar
Degree of RecognitionInternational