EVENT Mar 07
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It Takes a Village: Kinship Systems in the Gothic (NeMLA)

Boston, MA
Event: NeMLA
Categories: Digital Humanities, Graduate Conference, American, British, Popular Culture, Gender & Sexuality, Literary Theory, Rhetoric & Composition, Women's Studies, African-American, Colonial, Revolution & Early National, Transcendentalists, 1865-1914, 20th & 21st Century, Medieval, Early Modern & Renaissance, Long 18th Century, Romantics, Victorian, 20th & 21st Century, Narratology, Anthropology/Sociology, Cultural Studies, Film, TV, & Media, History
Event Date: 2024-03-07 to 2024-03-10 Abstract Due: 2023-09-30

From bands of thieves who live and die by honor codes to townspeople neglecting one of their own, the Gothic genre is full of non-normative kin. This panel seeks to collectively reimagine the role of kinship systems in Gothic literature and broaden common assumptions about who or what groupings may qualify as family. How do hierarchies form, and how might responsibility be reorganized? Which of these relationships are coerced through power, law, and money, and which of these relationships are formed through genuine human bonding? The Gothic asks its readers to reconsider the power of these familial structures; when the roles of traditional value systems are allowed the ability to be rethought, analyzing questions of how kinship is to function in this genre becomes possible. Whether a deal with the devil formed a connection or questions of parentage emerged from being born of a laboratory, understanding the roles of these arrangements is vital in acknowledging more fully the contributions of the Gothic to revolutions in how to read the family. “It Takes a Village: Kinship Systems in the Gothic” asks scholars to present work that introduces unlikely kinship systems in the Gothic, and claims these relationships as unique to this genre.



Jenna Sterling