MLA Special Session: Gothic Performances and the Literary Audience Jan. 7 - Jan. 10

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We are inviting paper proposals for a possible special sessions panel at the 2016 MLA Conference in Austin, TX, Jan. 7 - Jan. 10

The Gothic often embeds performances of social anxieties stemming from tensions that occur between central institutions and marginal practices and values. Gothic texts also capitalize on terrorizing beings, hauntings, or psychological torment as a means to confront repressed ideas or emotions. Because of this, they are useful in tackling historical and cultural traumas associated with the oppression of peripheral groups. This panel is interested in exploring the intersections of performance and the Gothic, focusing in particular on the narration of "otherness" through performances of gender, race, and class. Papers can draw from a variety of mediums, including literary texts, films, graphic novels, and TV shows. What social taboos are performed in the gothic text? What effect do the socio-historical performances within the gothic text have on the public's perception of society and cultures? What cultural epiphanies may be lurking within the Gothic?

Please send abstracts of 250-300 words and short bios by March 15, 2015 to Ana Gal ( and Ren Denton (