Thursday, 30 October 2014

2014 Halloween Blog Series, Part One

As you'll no doubt be aware, today is October the 30th: a date known around the world as All Hallows Eve... Eve. It's when the witches are scrubbing their cauldrons, the vampires are checking their reflections (and swearing a bit), the werewolves are consulting lunar calendars and adjusting their costume accordingly and the giant helmets are being hoisted into the sky on big invisible cranes.

To celebrate, we've chosen All Hallows Eve... Eve as the starting point for a special series of blogs. If Halloween is about the annual influx of the Gothic into popular culture (with costumes, parties, and the odd dodgy cinematic cash-in) then there's no better time to think about the way in which modern popular media itself marks the occasion of Halloween.

So, in the first of a series of blogs, GRG regular and first year PhD student, Mary Going, is going to begin looking at how a classic of modern 'Gothic' television takes up the opportunities offered by the 'Halloween Episode'.

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Foreshadowings: Jean Rhys's Wide Sargasso Sea

The new academic year  is still young, but the Gothic Reading Group is well underway. Our first meeting two weeks ago was a big success, with lots of new and old faces, including students and staff. This Wednesday we meet again for our first text: Jean Rhys's 1966 novel Wide Sargasso Sea. Famous as a re-imagining of the Jane Eyre story, this text invites us to reconsider the convergence of a set of motifs that have become a classic of Victorian Gothic and of post-colonial criticism. This means that our perennial inquiry 'is it Gothic?' can be accompanied by some more nuanced questions: What is it about the Gothic that lends itself to this kind of re-imagining? And how important is the cultural vocabulary of Gothic to a text that sets out to challenge an earlier figuring of 'monstrosity'?

It's also a good read. Here to introduce the text and the session on it is GRG organiser, Carly Stevenson.

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Foreshadowings: Hitchcock's Rebecca

The Gothic Reading Group meets this week for its first session of the 2014-15 academic year. This is also the first session under the group's new organisational triumvirate. With that in mind, this preview post does double duty as the new leaders introduce themselves, before taking a quick look at the first text.

Remember - new and old faces are very welcome on Wednesday: do consider coming along if you can make it. We'll be in the Richard Roberts Building, Room A87 from 4pm.