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Women and the Gothic

An Edinburgh Companion

Edited by Avril Horner, Sue Zlosnik

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A re-assessment of the Gothic in relation to the female, the ‘feminine’, feminism and post-feminism

This collection of newly commissioned essays brings together major scholars in the field of Gothic studies in order to re-think the topic of ‘Women and the Gothic’. The 14 chapters in this volume engage with debates about ‘Female Gothic’ from the 1970s and ’80s, through second wave feminism, theorisations of gender and a long interrogation of the ‘women’ category as well as with the problematics of post-feminism, now itself being interrogated by a younger generation of women. The contributors explore Gothic works – from established classics to recent films and novels – from feminist and post-feminist perspectives. The result is a lively book that combines rigorous close readings with elegant use of theory in order to question some ingrained assumptions about women, the Gothic and identity.

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Introduction, Avril Horner and Sue Zlosnik
Part I: Family Matters
1. Heroines in Flight, Angela Wright
2. Madwomen and Attics, Laurence Talairach-Vielmas
3. Mothers and Others, Ginette Carpenter
4. The Gothic Girl Child, Lucie Armitt
5. 'A Woman’s Place', Diana Wallace
Part II: Trangressions
6. Wicked Women, Anne Williams
7. The Female Gothic Body, Marie Mulvey-Roberts
8. Spectral Femininity, Rebecca Munford
9. Women and the Law, Sue Chaplin
10. Female Vampirism, Gina Wisker
Part III: New Directions
11. Queering the Female Gothic, Ardel Haefele-Thomas, 12. No Country for Old Women, Avril Horner and Sue Zlosnik
13. Virtual Gothic Women, Catherine Spooner
14. Formations of Player Agency and Gender in Gothic Video Games
Tanya Krzywinska.

About the Author

Avril Horner is Emeritus Professor at Kingston University, London.

Sue Zlosnik is Emeritus Professor of Gothic Literature at Manchester Metropolitan University. They are former co-Presidents of the International Gothic Association.


With lively contributions extending the discussion to include ideas around race, queer identity, and age, the book presents timely, crucial, and complex views on women in the gothic.
- Frances A. Kamm , The Irish Journal of Gothic and Horror Studies 15

Unapologetically feminist and woman-focused, Women and the Gothic is a bold, hip, theoretically sophisticated collection written by new and established scholars, that examines the complex work of the Gothic in relation to cultural representations of women. Covering a breathtakingly broad cross-section of subject matter, cultural forms/media, and historical phenomena, including fourth-wave feminism, Horner and Zlosnik have produced a highly readable, welcome addition to the series.

- University of Windsor, Carol Margaret Davison

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