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Research Projects

 
 

Children's and Young Adult Gothic

I gained my PhD from Lancaster University in 2016. My thesis explored twenty-first-century children's Gothic literature and film, incorporating theories from literary and cultural studies. My first monograph, Twenty-First-Century Children's Gothic: From Wanderer to Nomadic Subject (Edinburgh University Press) develops this research into a completely new way of reading children’s Gothic. I reject the pedagogical model of children’s literature criticism, which assess works based on what or how they teach the child, and instead draw on the theories of Deleuze and Guattari, Rosi Braidotti and Benedict Spinoza.

Children’s FICTIOn, PHILOSOPHY AND SCIENCE

I am working on a second monograph that reads ethical issues arising from New Materialist and Speculative Realist philosophies through contemporary children’s speculative and fantastic fiction.  

I am also on the steering group for a project that explores science and children’s literature, organised by Dr Emily Alder at Edinburgh Napier University. Find us @ChildLitSci

 Gothic and WEIRD MONSTERS

I research the representation and function of Gothic monsters in literature and film. My published work includes articles and chapters on monsters and sexuality, the representation of witches, vampires and young adult femininity, zombies, and the "tentacular teratology" of Weird fiction.


Post colonialism, Diversity and Decolonisation

I am interested in the intersection of imperialism, colonialism, post colonialism and the Gothic. I co-edited the collection, Telling it Slant: Critical Approaches to Helen Oyeyemi with Dr Sarah Ilott.

Sarah and I have also collaborated on the work of Nnedi Okorafor when we were asked to present a keynote address at the Global Fantastika conference in 2016.

 

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Twenty-First-Century Children’s Gothic takes us on a tour through some of the dark spaces of the early-twenty-first century, and is written with vigour and excitement as well as scholarly accuracy.
— David Punter
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My recent research explores how contemporary writers use the Gothic to expose and counter the legacy of imperialism in Britain today. Based on this, I devised a series of workshops for schools that use Gothic fiction to engage students with aspects of history usually neglected in the classroom. I also delivered some of my findings as part of the CILIP and Youth Libraries Group annual conference in September, 2018.

Games and Philosophy

I'm a member of the Manchester Game Studies Network and an avid "analogue" gamer. I play and organize horror-themed live-action role-playing events. My interest in Gothic, philosophy and games combine in publications that explore the transformation of space and encounters with “objects” in “Weird” or Lovecraftian LARP. Some of this work has been written in collaboration with Dr Laura Mitchell, the founder of Seriously Learned.

Together, Laura and I ran a LARP in the library at the sixth annual Gothic Manchester Festival. With Laura and Dr Paul Wake, I spoke about “what we can learn from games” at the 2018 Tabletop Gaming Convention in London.

Check out some of my old blogs on the pleasures of "becoming a zombie" in role-playing games and the carnivalesque aspects of "Cthulhu Horror" LARP. 


Impact and Engagement events

Recent events include a panel discussion on Folk Horror at the 2nd Annual Folk Horror Festival in Manchester, a lecture on women in horror cinema at Screened MCR, a talk on witchcraft for the British Library Magic and Enchantment Study Day and at Lancaster University’s Feminist Movie Mondays. I also recently hosted a Q+A with gothic writers, Laura Purcell and Stuart Turton at Manchester’s Deansgate Waterstones and introduced a screening of the cult horror film The Seventh Victim for @BiggerFilms. I help deliver the annual Gothic Manchester Festival and work with Manchester BID to enhance the annual “Halloween in the City” festival.

Upcoming events:

Wednesday 15th May - Games and Philosophy, a public seminar for the Manchester Game Studies Network.