CFP: Material Gothic (6/1/05; journal issue)

full name / name of organization: 
Stephen Shapiro
contact email:

CFP for "Material Gothic": a special issue of Gothic Studies

Vampires, ghouls, werewolves, and blood oozing from pores: When Marx
sought a descriptive language for capitalist processes and class
struggle, he instinctively deployed metaphors from Gothic's narrative
codex of deranged nature, time-space dislocations, and psychic
trauma. While liberal economists laud the marketplace as a scene of
sympathetic fellow-feeling and natural rationalism, Marx sees
capitalist profiteering as generating a gothic sensorium involving a
supernatural, demonic force, the commodity fetish, a spectral fantasm
that simultaneously locates and directs attention away from
systematized exploitation. If Gothic descriptors have a privileged
place in materialist social and cultural analyses, materialist
concerns and theoretical paradigms have also shed light on the shock
and awe of Gothic notations, artifacts, and performances, their
inscription of socially coercive encounters, domestic and
international. Franco Moretti's essay on Dracula and Frankenstein in
his 1983 Signs Taken for Wonders insisted on the interdependence of
Gothic and Marxist considerations. Helping to inaugurate the
contemporary revival in Gothic Studies, Moretti's work also
telegraphed the post-1989 revival in Marxist cultural criticism. This
special issue proposes to draw on, respond to, and extend materialist
analyses of Gothic in the more than twenty years since the
publication of Signs and the ensuing resurgence in studies of the

Completed essays are invited for consideration in a special issue
that approaches Gothic from a cultural materialist and/or Marxist
perspectives for any period from the early modern phase onward.
Particularly welcomed are presentations of non-Euro-American uses of
Gothic and essays involving visual and performance-based media.

Possible topics may include, but are not limited to, explorations into:

Spectrality and the commodity fetish;
Gothic and the capitalist world-system: colonialism, imperialism, and
anti-European insurgency;
Dysfunctional family romances and the critique of bourgeois
domesticity/ heteronormativity;
Estranged consumerism and late capitalism's everyday;
Gothic as a quasi-utopian mode for imagining postbourgeois society;
The bourgeois lifeworld as a medium for collective psychosis;
Distressed nature and critiques of ecological derangement resulting
from speculation;
Claustrophobic space and uneven development;
Gothic historiography and passages between historical periods;
Postmodern deindustrialization/digitalization and the Gothic;
Subaltern histories and tactical uses of the Gothic;
The grotesque and industrial disfigurement, disability, and trauma;
Gothic phenomenology as a means of dialectical philosophy.

Since 1999, Gothic Studies has been not only a forum for dialogue and
cultural criticism, but also a specialist journal for scholars
working in a field which is today taught or researched in almost all
academic establishments.

Completed essays of between 5,000-6,500 words are due by 1 June 2005
for consideration. Format conventions can be seen at:

Please send hard copy to:

Dr. Stephen Shapiro
Department of English and Comparative Literature
University of Warwick
Coventry CV4 7AL

Questions and electronic copy to:
Please include "material gothic" in the subject header, thanks.

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Received on Thu Jun 24 2004 - 21:40:57 EDT

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