Current PhD students
Title: Judaism and the Gothic, 1790-1820
My research centres around representations of Judaism within Gothic literature of the 1790s and the early nineteenth century. I am particularly interested in constructions of national and religious identities, or portrayals of the religious ‘other’, within Gothic fiction, as well as how this affects depictions of Jewish identities and communities. Key figures of interest include the mythical figure of the Wandering Jew and Shakespeare’s Shylock, who is consistently portrayed as an implicit inspiration for Jewish characters within the Gothic. By looking at the novels of traditional Gothic authors such as Matthew Lewis, Mary Shelley, and Charles Maturin alongside authors such as Charlotte Smith and George Walker, my research questions whether such portrayals are intrinsically anti-Semitic, or whether the Gothic instead allows for a more sympathetic perspective.
Title: Gothic Keats
As the title suggests, my research examines the influence of the Gothic on John Keats. I am particularly interested in the ways in which Keats’s engagement with the Gothic was informed by his medical knowledge of the body. As such, my thesis is loosely structured around the senses.
Evangeline R Payne
Title: The Gothic Castle Space: Nineteenth Century British Gothic to Twentieth and Twenty First Century Nordic Noir
Title: Modernity and the ‘Medical Man’: Neo-Victorian Doctor Figures at the Turn of the Millennium
This project looks at the figure of the ‘medical man’ in neo-Victorian fiction written around the turn of the millennium, examining the reciprocal relationship between the Nineteenth and Twentieth/Twenty-First Centuries in the depictions of these doctors. I will interrogate the ways in which recent developments in clinical practice are transposed onto our reimaginations of the Nineteenth Century, and also which Victorian mythologies inform modern narratives about clinicians. My thesis explores a range of sources, including fiction, legislation, theory, and news media, to look at the complex relationships between past and present in this medical context.
Title: Gothicising a Poetics of Displacement: Immigrants/Effects
My practice-based project takes its title from the steamer trunk my parents brought from Scotland to Canada, and ‘effects’ as belongings bearing traces of hame provide entry into a poetic narrative about the Scots diaspora and the unheimlich. An eco-horror subtext gestures toward the impact of climate change on our earthly home – ‘effects’ in the sense of consequence. ‘Effects’ as aesthetic result is the touchstone for an inquiry into how Gothic poetry functions and by what literary heritage such works are haunted. A key aim is to identify a Gothic poetics and develop new forms in my own practice.