NeMLA Roundtable on "Conflicted Feelings, Resilient Responses: Rewriting Marginalization in the Gothic" (NeMLA)
Victor LaValle dedicated his 2016 horror novella The Ballad of Black Tom, a work that reimagines a racially-charged Lovecraftian universe by centering it around the Black experience, “To H.P. Lovecraft, with all my conflicted feelings”. LaValle’s ambiguous feelings as both a reader and author are shared by many students of the Gothic as they adjust recognizable and occasionally exclusive generic boundaries to better encompass varied, eclectic, and sometimes invisible or problematically visible identities.
From its birth in the mid-Eighteenth Century to today, the Gothic mode has proven itself to be not only a robust form of self-expression within a wide range of mediums, but also one which illuminates the resiliency of those who exist in the margins, be those margins social, political, literary, or even human. However, in a mode in many ways defined by a blurring of the ‘I’ and the ‘other’ that renders identity potentially monstrous and categories of 'monstrosity' disturbingly irrepressible, the ongoing task of rewriting marginalization in the Gothic in ways that allow for more inclusive futures remains a complex and sometimes troubling experience.
This roundtable will address this significant issue by discussing how groundbreaking re-imaginings of the mode, whether they be critical re-readings of classic texts or creative departures found in contemporary works, advance conversations on the representation of marginalized yet resilient identities and offer new ways to view the Gothic’s transformative potential. In doing so we will consider the impact such revisions have on contemporary critical perspectives and our perception of the mode moving forward, as engagements such as LaValle’s suggest a radical potential in ‘rewriting’ and ‘rereading’ the Gothic.
We invite proposals from all areas and eras of Gothic literature, media, and art, addressing those ways in which the mode explores and celebrates difference and undertakes to reverse social, racial, gendered, and disabled marginalization through generically-specific forms of representation.
Please submit abstracts to https://www.cfplist.com/nemla by the deadline, September 30th, 2022