Conference: Urban Gothic: Haunted Cities, Spectral Traces

24th Apr 2010 - 12:00am

Liverpool John Moores University

The North Gothic Network presents a one-day conference in Liverpool on 24th April 2010, in partnership with Edinburgh Napier University, Liverpool John Moores University and Edge Hill University.

Gothic scholars are increasingly welcoming historicised studies of Gothic and literary criticism examining how Gothic tropes and modes are inflected for a particular time and place. Even more specifically, critics call for studies not only of historicised Gothic, but of localised Gothic.

In a discussion of these recent trends, for example, Roger Luckhurst suggests that Gothic criticism pay fresh attention to the way location functions, for:

‘it is worth recalling that ghosts are held to haunt specific locales, are tied to what late Victorian psychical researchers … termed “phantasmogenetic centres”. This might suggest that the ghosts of London are different from those of Paris, or those of California.’

This conference takes the specificity of urban ‘phantasmogenetic centres’ as an organising principle, aiming to explore particular representations of urban gothic in literature, film, television and graphic novels.

Keynote speakers include Professor Sue Zlosnik (MMU), Dr Ben Highmore (Sussex), as well the illustrator and graphic artist, Gerry Gapinski.

Call for Papers

We invite abstracts for 20-minute papers focusing on identifying, untangling or savouring gothic representations of particular cities, both past and present.

Proposals are welcomed on, but not limited to, the following topics:

  • Globalised cities, global Gothic
  • Urban underworlds: crime and exploitation in urban space
  • The labyrinthine city
  • Gothic cartographies
  • Gothic flâneurs/flâneuses
  • Regional cities, regional Gothic
  • Nineteenth-century urban Gothic
  • The city as prison
  • Paranoia in urban environments
  • Haunted cities
  • Monstrous cities
  • Urban vampires
  • Urban temporalities and nostalgia
  • Vidler’s architecture of the uncanny
  • Tortured narrative and tangled streets
  • Uncanny repetition in urban space
  • Political subversion in urban gothic

How to Register

The registration fee for the conference is £25 for staff or those in employment, £10 for students / unwaged.

Please enclose a cheque/banker’s draft made payable to “Association for Research in Popular Fictions” for the correct fee and send your completed form to:

  • Nickianne Moody, ARPF, Liverpool John Moores University, Dean Walters Building, St James Road, Liverpool L1 7BR UK

The registrarion deadline is Monday 12th April 2010.

For more information on the event, please contact Dr Ben Brabon or Dr Stéphanie Genz at

North Gothic Network

The North Gothic Network is a regional network of the International Gothic Association (IGA). The IGA was established in June 1991, uniting teachers, scholars and students from around the world interested in Gothic culture, fiction, drama, poetry, art and film, from the eighteenth century onwards. Its purpose is to exchange and expand knowledge of and research on the Gothic as widely and effectively as possible.

The North Gothic Network (NGN) builds upon the IGA’s aims and objectives, fostering the exchange of ideas among Gothic scholars from the region through seminars, workshops and conferences.