CFP: [18th] IGA/ACCUTE JOINT SESSION: ACCUTE Conference, Carleton Univ. 23/054/09-26/05/09 Gothic âClosets"

full name / name of organization: 
Dr. Carol Margaret Davison
contact email:

The International Gothic Association, in conjunction with the Association
of Canadian College and University Teachers of English, is presenting a
joint session on the subject of Gothic Closets.

In a “Letter to the Editor” in the Monthly Magazine dated August 1797, a
man curiously designating himself “A Jacobin Novelist” earnestly lamented
the pitiable influence of the French Revolution on English literature. “[W]
e have,” he opined, “exactly and faithfully copied … [Maximilian
Robespierre’s] SYSTEM OF TERROR, if not in our streets, and in our fields,
at least in our circulating libraries, and in our closets.” Literal and
figurative closets/secret chambers — for writing and otherwise — have been
on exhibit in both the British and American Gothic traditions since the
eighteenth century where they have functioned as ambivalent domains of
seduction and resistance, constraint and freedom, self-expression and
repression. As Marta Straznicky has illustrated, such ambiguity is in
keeping with the closet’s role in cultural history. According to
Straznicky, on the basis of both its permeability and its cultivation of
an unsupervised self, the closet was fraught with anxiety, as devotional
manuals particularly attest. Proposals for individual or collaborative
papers are invited on the idea of the Gothic closet/secret chamber.
Possible topics might include (but are not limited to):

• the changing face and meaning of the Gothic closet

• the Gothic and closet-related genres (e.g. closet drama)

• narrative strategies and the Gothic closet

• Gothic closets and the visual arts

• gender/sexuality and the Gothic closet

• Romantic individualism and the Gothic closet

• Gothic closets/Gothic architecture

• Gothic closets and paranoia/conspiracy

• Gothic closets and encounters with Otherness

• Gothic closets on film

• the Gothic closet and the motif of incarceration

Please send electronic copies of proposals of approximately 500 words and
a 100-word bio by Friday, November 21st, 2008, to Carol Margaret Davison
( or by snail-mail to:

Dr. Carol Margaret Davison
Department of English Language, Literature, and Creative Writing
University of Windsor
401 Sunset Avenue
Windsor, Ontario
N9B 3P4

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Received on Fri Sep 12 2008 - 10:33:01 EDT

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