Southeast Asian Gothic (edited collection)

full name / name of organization: 
Katarzyna Ancuta, Mary J. Ainslie, Andrew Hock Soon Ng

The contemporary rebranding of Gothic as a global phenomenon has led to an exploration of previously unchartered cultural territories in search of texts that are open to such interpretation. In particular, the recognition of Asia as a promising site for Gothic Studies reveals complex intra-Asian connections and cultural influences, shared heritage, philosophical and religious worldviews, beliefs, and values that foreground the need to investigate the local forms that are associated with Gothic contexts. This underscores a non-generic understanding of Gothic and the need to develop a methodology that can be applied to study a variety of texts. It also signifies the need to redefine the current boundaries of Gothic through the application of new methodologies based on Asian philosophies and viewpoints.

Yet, while such existing analysis offers a very welcome new dynamic to understanding Gothic, this is often dominated by attention to the economically prominent East Asia nations, which all too often seem to signify 'Asia' to a large extent in any analysis of the cultural industries.The proposed collection seeks to localize the gothic in the diverse, divided and culturally very different region of Southeast Asia, an area that is becoming increasingly significant on a global scale due to the current economic amalgamation of these nations under the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). The collection aims to utilize the existing regional paradigms to promote Gothic as an alternative methodology that can be used to interrogate local works of film, literature and other cultural forms within these nations. Given that the term itself is often unknown to, or severely misunderstood, by local scholars, the collection aims to dispel the common assumption that all instances of the gothic in Southeast Asia are a foreign import and constitute an aesthetic or a set of values that are alien to these cultures. With this in mind we invite the submission of papers that address the various manifestations of the gothic in Southeast Asian culture both past and present.

Topics may include:
• Local supernatural narratives: representation of ghosts, spirits, deities, supernatural beliefs and rituals
• Gothic aspects of Southeast Asian horror film
• The gothic in Southeast Asian cinema (not limited to the horror genre)
• The gothic in Southeast Asian Literature
• Tropical jungle as the gothic wilderness
• Southeast Asian mega-city as the gothic metropolis
• History, memory and cultural trauma: Southeast Asian gothic historiographies
• Violent conflict and war: armed conflicts, terrorism, foreign military interventions
• The abuse of power, inequality and exploitation: gender, sexuality, ethnicity, class, religion
• Economic exploitation: poverty, migration, the mass vs. the elite
• Colonial and post-colonial Gothic

Proposals of no more than 500 words should be sent to, and by 30 June 2015.

The collection is planned for submission to the International Gothic book series supported by the International Gothic Association and published by the University of Manchester Press