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The Dark Arts Journal is pleased to announce the call for papers of issue 4.1, for the topic of “Transgression and Contemporary Gothic” We invite innovative, challenging and original submissions on any aspect of Gothic studies and the notion of transgression, with particular emphasis on contemporary Gothic and/or contemporary issues read in a Gothic context.


Transgression, ‘so pure and so complicated’ (Foucault: 1977, p.35) is a contentious issue, with many critics to-date strongly questioning the effect of the oversaturation of violence and misdemeanor in contemporary subjective, cultural and political life, and the extent to which transgression is now exhausted. The critical engagement with transgression has thrived in past few decades with numerous critical studies emerging. To a certain extent, the contemporary engagement began with Stallybrass and White (1986) who revised transgression as a politically charged gesture that challenges the social and political classification of high/low culture. For some, transgression is an antagonistic and cynical response to contemporary discontent, corresponding to a fatalistic inability to engage with contemporary culture/society except in terms of nihilistic or discordant inertia or refusal. Others have argued that transgression is an aesthetic mode of subversion, potently questioning of artistic, political and moral boundaries. In this way, transgression not only articulates limits but goes excessively beyond them, forcing the transgressor to reassess their moral/ethical coordinates.

If transgression stages the crossing and/or annihilation of limits then the Gothic, which undermines unstable distinctions between reality and unreality, as well as laws/prohibitions and limits, is a productive frame against which to read and critique transgression. As critics of contemporary Gothic, we are attuned to questions regarding a similar fascination with Gothic terror, horror and monstrous, and the extent to which they are increasingly co-opted as commodities and “exhausted” as some detractors would profess, corresponding in a decline of the mode’s effectiveness. Re-engaging with transgression, its forms and the philosophies that inform it, through the Gothic lens seems a natural and productive enterprise in order to readdress the validity and strength of both concerns in the contemporary era.


This journal welcomes all submissions with an emphasis on transgression and the contemporary Gothic, in all its forms.

Possible topics may cover, but are in no way limited to the following:

*Gothic studies and philosophy or literary studies

*New and contemporary approaches to the Gothic canon

*Contemporary Gothic Film, TV, Literature, Music, Art, Culture, etc.

*Contemporary Horror

*Gothic and Transgression

– Violence

– Nihilism

– The Grotesque

– The Carnivalesque

– Psychopathology

– Suicide

– Terror(ism)

– Resistance

– Post-capitalism / Neoliberalism

– Contemporary Philosophy

All Submissions should be emailed to for the attention of the editor with the subject line “Dark Arts 4.1 Submission.” Papers should be between 4,000—5,000 words and use MHRA style guide for referencing and footnotes. As always, we welcome contributions from scholars at any stage of their careers and particularly from postgraduates and early career researchers.

Deadline for submission is February 28th, 2018