16th International Gothic Association Conference
Trinity College Dublin, Ireland, Tuesday 26th – Friday 29 July 2022.
Organisers: Christina Morin (University of Limerick) and Bernice M. Murphy (Trinity College Dublin).
For many of us, the past few years have felt like a Gothic narrative thanks to numerous unsettling circumstances and conditions: the still-unfolding COVID-19 epidemic; the increasing frequency of catastrophic weather events; civil unrest and challenges to democracy in the USA and much of rest of the world; escalating income inequality; and a plethora of humanitarian crises. Unsurprisingly, these realities have already begun to influence contemporary literature as well as popular culture and film. However, whilst horror, Gothic, and other modes of cultural production may register the need to reflect upon (and to deal with) challenging present day circumstances, they also arguably provide us with a space of retreat. As Heloise Wood noted in a recent BBC article considering ‘culture in quarantine’, the sharp uptick in book sales during the pandemic has been accompanied by an increasing turn to ‘escapist genre fiction’, including Gothic, paranormal, and YA Gothic fiction.It seems as though Stephen King’s well-known declaration in his 1981 nonfiction volume Danse Macabre – ‘We make up horrors to help us cope with the real ones’ – is as true, if not more so, today than it was when he first wrote it.
While it would be easy to become mired in the plethora of challenging and destabilising events around us, IGA 2022 adopts the conference theme ‘Gothic Interruptions’ in order to encourage an interrogation of the ways in which Gothic and horror can frame such contemporary (and historical) events as moments that are also loaded with possibility. How do these Gothic circumstances, terrifying as they may be, lead to change, looking toward new futures? How might they link to the ludic or cathartic potential of the Gothic as a mode which is itself forever evolving?
Papers and panels that address the following topics, and/or other relevant areas of discussion are invited:
- Escapism and Gothic/horror
- Comic Gothic and comedy horror
- Gothic/horror and social reform
- Gothic futures
- Political Gothic
- Precarity and the Gothic
- Extremism and the Gothic
- Gothic and the Climate Crisis
- Post-Covid Gothic
Confirmed Plenary Speakers:
- Professor Christine Ferguson, University of Stirling
- Professor Jarlath Killeen, Trinity College Dublin
- Dr Xavier Aldana Reyes, Manchester Metropolitan University
Proposals should be submitted by e-mail to IGADublin2022@gmail.com by 5pm on Monday, 31 January 2022. Proposals should include: name, paper title, brief bio-note, institutional affiliation (if applicable) and a 250-word abstract. For panel proposals, please include this information for each speaker on the panel. Prospective speakers will be notified of a decision by Monday, 28 February 2022.
Please note that you will need to be a registered member of the IGA to present at the conference.
As of November 2021, we intend this conference to be an in-person, on-campus event. Delegates should also assume that a EU/UK Covid cert (or other verifiable proof of vaccination)) and photographic ID will be required to gain access to the TCD campus/conference events. Please keep in mind that the Covid-19 situation in Ireland (as elsewhere) is a rapidly evolving one. We will endeavour to update the IGA community about any impact that changes in the local Covid-19 outlook may have upon the final format of the conference.