The Past as Nightmare: An interdisciplinary conference at the University of Reading (UK)
6-7 September 2022

Keynote speakers: Dr Ailise Bulfin & Professor Laurence Talairach

The gothic has a complex relationship with the past, and with history as a discipline. Much of the early body of gothic fiction is set in the past, often in the form of ‘found’ historical documents, whilst the past also functions as an inescapable nemesis, returning to haunt modernity. How is the past as a concept and as haunting interpreted in gothic horror literature? How is the discipline of history itself, and the historian or antiquarian as an individual, portrayed in the gothic mode?

Proposals can address any chronological period, from the eighteenth century to the present, and any particular national gothic form.

Subjects could include, though are by no means limited to:

♠ interconnections between history and the gothic ♠ gothic texts as primary sources in History ♠ the past as nemesis in the gothic texts ♠ the gothic and historical archives ♠ the gothic text as ‘found’ archival manuscript ♠ the gothic and the history of sexuality ♠ the gothic and the history of gender ♠ the gothic and colonial history ♠ history as ‘grave-robbing’ ♠ portrayals of historians in gothic fiction ♠ academia in gothic fiction ♠ the gothic and totalitarian re-writing of history ♠ the archaeological gothic

Abstracts of up to 300 words should be sent to by 28 January 2022.

Download a copy of the event poster.