114th Annual Conference - Pasadena, California
Friday, November 11 - Sunday, November 13, 2016

Gothic I

Session Chair: 
Diana Rose Newby, Columbia University
San Gabriel
Topic Area: 


  1. Catherine Alber, University of Denver
    This paper, modeled on the socio-rhetorical theories of Kenneth Burke, argues that Frankenstein operates as a political parable. I base my argument on the influences of British opinions on the French Revolution and revolutionary wars, particularly those of Edmund Burke and Mary Wollstonecraft. I posit that Shelley echoes the horror rhetoric of Edmund Burke, and uses this rhetoric to “name” and promulgate the political ideologies she inherited from her mother. 
  2. Kristen J. Davis, West Virginia University
    Ayesha’s shocking devolution and defeat in Haggard’s She (1886) can be attributed to rival Amenartas’s Egyptian curse. Utilizing motifs of the Egyptian Gothic subgenre, the novel’s dysfunctional love triangle of Arabian Ayesha, Egyptian Amenartas, and British explorers Holly and Leo allow Haggard to caution restraint regarding the late-Victorian “Egyptian Question.”
  3. Fontaine Lien, Valparaiso University
    This paper considers the depiction of immortals and transcendents, and the value judgements placed on their pursuits, within English, French, and Chinese literary traditions. It also examines the religious origins and foundations of both Gothic literature and Chinese zhiguai, (tales of the strange), and seeks to explain their convergences and divergences.
  4. Monica Hart, West Texas A&M University
    Critics blasted Kenneth Branagh's film Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, asserting that it was Branagh's Frankenstein, not Shelley's, and worse, an absolute abomination. This paper argues that examining Branagh’s film alongside Shelley’s novel (1818 and 1831) and key Gothic texts reveals not a disaster of a film, but instead, the opposite: Branagh’s shrewd reading of Romanticism and his deft handling of Gothic literature. 
Session Cancelled: