Gothic Contagion: A Trans-Disciplinary Exploration of the Gothic Mode’s Representations of Infectious Disease and its Implications for Public Health
This thesis sets out to investigate the ways in which Gothic depictions of contagion mediate public perceptions about health, wellbeing and community at key moments of crisis in the evolution of capitalism. Although contagion has become the focus of scholarship in both Literary Studies and Medical Humanities, currently there are only a few critical analyses of contagion narratives that both appropriately historicize the concept of contagion and explore the particular significance of the Gothic mode in this context. The thesis sets out to address this gap in research and argue for the significance of Gothic tropes in expressing the emotional, affective and ideological dimensions of contagion. My project seeks to bring together critical perspectives from a range of different disciplines with close readings of Gothic texts from different historical periods and subgenres of the mode in order to create a comparative analysis of these narratives across the Gothic mode. This will highlight both the multiple meanings contagion acquires in Gothic texts and how these meanings are influenced by socio-political and technological changes.
Research Degree: PhD, Full-time
Funded: VC Scholarship