Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Sources and Resources - Surfing the web for Dickens and Poe

We've not long to go until the second Gothic Reading Group session for this term. In the wake of the previous introductory post on Dickens and Poe's tales of 'madness,' Mark has been hunting around the internet for interesting supplementary materials. Here are a few of his favourites. They might offer a bit of stimulus ahead of the the meeting on Wednesday - if you've found anything interesting yourself, do let us know.

Monday, 28 October 2013

Recollections - 2013-14 Session One: Fede Alvarez's Evil Dead

On the 16th of October the Gothic Reading Group held its first session of the 2013-14 academic year: screening and discussing Fede Alvarez's Evil Dead(2013). This was a first for us in a couple of other senses too: being the most contemporary 'text' we'd looked at together and our most graphic piece of 'horror' so far. Though members were quick to question the film's internal logic (and physics...), we can safely say that none of the eighteenth-century dramas, nineteenth-century monster narratives or even twentieth-century films that we've looked at before said quite such an emphatic 'farewell to arms.' And cheeks. And eyeballs. Here Mark has a crack at summarising the group's response to the film and picking out keynotes in our discussion.

Monday, 21 October 2013

Foreshadowings - Texts and Contexts for Poe and Dickens

Our first session last week was a great success, with lots of interesting discussion following a screening of The Evil Dead. There'll be a blog follow-up in the next few days, but, in the meantime, we've the second session of this year's Gothic Reading Group to look forward to next week. This time we are actually readingsomething. Two things, in fact. By way of an introduction to the material, here's Mark linking comedy cartoons and telling you to go read entire volumes of a nineteenth-century American magazine. . .

Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Through the Vaults: Remembering Last Year's Meetings. . .

We hope all Gothic Reading Group members (old and new) are settling into their courses at Sheffield and enjoying encountering new texts, authors and subjects (Gothic or otherwise) as part of their studies. It is, of course, the first meeting of the Gothic Reading Group next week. We know people are busy getting to grips with module reading lists and new research projects, so we haven't actually set any reading at all for the first session: all you need to do is come along, watch the new version of The Evil Dead,eat some cake and take part in a bit of discussion. One of the great things about the GRG is that it brings together people from all levels of the School of English in a relaxed round-table. This means our discussions benefit from the experience and expertise of our individual members, but aren't restricted to any pre-defined topics and can wander as we see fit. Last year's meetings were a great example of this. As we look forward to the first meeting of 2013-14, you might like to follow Mark as he steps tentatively into the dusty vaults of 2012-13... Careful as you go: mind the rusted daggers, step lightly around the giant helmet, don't touch that black curtain and please be especially wary of the cake-wrappers on the floor...

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Foreshadowings - 'Reading' The Evil Dead

We've only a couple of weeks to go until our first session for this academic year. In the meantime, we hope everyone's enjoying the beginning of the new term and getting stuck into some Gothic studies. Here at the Gothic Reading Group blog we've already had two great posts to help set us up for our screening of The Evil Dead. Kathleen Hudson has taken us through some of the hallmarks of the original series and asked how and why they might (or might not) make it across the reboot intact. Meanwhile, Adam James Smith has offered a way to think about the connections between contemporary horror cinema and the truth claims associated with original Gothic texts and their ability to frighten readers in the eighteenth century.This time, Mark Bennett ponders something that relates to both previous posts: homing in on one particular (and fairly obvious) trope in the original Evil Dead films, thinking about its relationship to an eighteenth-century Gothic and wondering how it will be treated in the new reboot.