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. 


Meet the organisers

As you'll know by now if you've been casting the runes (or simply following this blog) the Gothic Reading Group now has a new set of organisers. This is the result of Mark becoming completely obsessed with William Gilpin and deciding he only wants to talk about eighteenth-century guides to the aesthetics of arboreal arrangement a natural progression as new research students in Gothic Studies at Sheffield take up responsibility for guiding the reading group. All of the new organisers have been involved with the GRG in the past, but, should you be unfamiliar with them:

Kathleen Hudson is a third year PhD research student working on servant narratives in early Gothic literature.  She’s a fan of Bruce Campbell and a card carrying member of the Cult of Cthulhu, and if any pumpkin steps out of line she isn't afraid to make a pie out of it.

Lauren Nixon is in the second year of her PhD (part time, though, so she’ll be looming around for a while.) She specialises in late eighteenth century gothic, with a focus on gender roles, and she also a Jane Austen specialist in her spare time, because she lacks a fundamental knowledge of what ‘spare time’ is. She’s a big fan of Gothic castles, doubles and creepy, potentially demonic monkeys.

Carly Stevenson is a second year, part-time PhD student researching conceptualisations of death in 'Post-Enlightenment' Gothic. As you might have guessed, her interests lean towards the macabre: she's often seen wandering cemeteries, reading Keats and wearing sunglasses at night...

All will be present at Wednesday's session, looking forward to meeting you for some cake and death. On the subject of which...

Our first session

The 'text' for our first meeting is Alfred Hitchcock's film Rebecca, based on the equally famous novel by Daphne Du Maurier. Newcomers to the film should be aware that this is *Hitchcock's* Rebecca, not *Mitchell and Webb's* Rebecca. For the sake of completion, we have inserted that far more successful and critically acclaimed adaptation here:


Carly has this to say about the film we're actually watching:

This week, we'll be watching Alfred Hitchcock's adaptation of Rebecca, based on the 1938 gothic novel by Daphne DuMaurier. But is it gothic? This is the pivotal question we'll find ourselves asking again and again during our GRG meetings... and for good reason. What is gothic? How can we tell if something is gothic? Come along to RRB A87 TOMORROW to discuss these questions and more! We'll be exploring the gothic elements in Hitchcock's film and how his adaptation compares to DuMaurier's novel. You don't have to have read Rebecca beforehand-- we'll be focusing mainly on the film, its themes and its gothic elements. There will be cake. And death. See you there! 

There you have it then: Wednesday 16th October, Richard Roberts Building, Room A87, 4-6pm - be there!

Mark Bennett is a PhD  student in the school of English, researching eighteenth-century Travel Writing and Gothic Fiction. He's sort of like the omniscient narrator these days, but isn't averse to the odd bit of free indirect discourse.

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