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Gothic Traditions and Departures

Universidad de las Américas Puebla (UDLAP), Cholula, Mexico

18 – 21 July 2017


Where does Gothic begin and where does it end? Can we recognise a Gothic tradition or has Gothic always stood at the margins of the critical tradition? Over the past decades, we have witnessed a rekindled awareness of the popularity of Gothic in literature, media, and culture. Gothic has also become widely acknowledged around the world, and there are currently many studies dedicated to understand what it means in other regions, traditions, and cultures. On the other hand, the critical tradition has condemned Gothic for its excessive, formulaic, and immature plots and motifs, thus leaving it at the margins of more well-regarded works. The reconsidered significance of Gothic today prompts to think of it as an established tradition, but does it still offer points of departure through what Fred Botting refers to as its ‘negative aesthetics’ (2014)? More importantly, as we look again at the popularity of Gothic to address and understand both global and regional supernatural narratives, events, and experiences, it is also relevant to inquire about the influence of local traditional folklore and legends in the development and current understanding of Gothic. At the same time, this provides us with an opportunity to consider the relevance and presence of Gothic in contemporary debates on literature, art, and popular culture.


We seek to explore how Gothic today may be considered a tradition or a departure from tradition, as well as how it has been inspired by local traditions, legends, or true stories. We seek to address how we look at past Gothic in comparison with contemporary Gothic, that is, where Gothic is now and what Gothic is for today. This exploration is not limited to the literary Gothic, but also seeks to keep on addressing Gothic manifestations across arts, media, and popular culture.


Thus, we seek to make the following inquiries: Do we understand Gothic as a tradition or as a departure from tradition? What is the relationship between Gothic, folklore, and traditional myths and legends? What is the current state of Gothic? What is happening with Gothic now? Why is Gothic still relevant today? How do we understand local and regional Gothic manifestations when we compare them with global Gothic? Is Goth culture a tradition too? Does Gothic in media, other arts, and popular culture depart from its literary tradition?


Topics could include, but are not limited to, the following:


-Gothic origins

-The Gothic as tradition

-The Gothic as a departure from tradition

-Gothic crossovers

-Gothic departures and journeys

-Gothic divergences

-Gothic digressions and deviations

-Gothic in popular culture

-Gothic and folklore

-Gothic and traditional legends

-Gothic and urban legends

-True histories of the Gothic

-Goth culture and traditions

-Goth culture as tradition

-Global Gothic vs local Gothic

-Gothic now vs Gothic then

-Post-Millennial Gothic

-20th Century Gothic

-Victorian Gothic

-Romanticism and the Gothic

-Pre-Gothic traditions

-Gothic and the media (old and new)

-Digital Gothic

-Gothic and the arts

-Performance Gothic

-Gothic Studies: past, present, and future


We welcome abstract proposals of no more than 300 words, along with a 50 word bio-note, for 20 minute papers. Please include your contact e-mail and affiliation. Abstracts may be submitted to The submission deadline is December 16, 2016. We also welcome submissions for panels (consisting of three papers) that address specific topics.


Accepted proposals will be notified in early January 2017.