Gothic Terror, Gothic Horror

Gothic writers from Ann Radcliffe to Stephen King have differentiated terror and horror: the former is intellectual, imminent, and escapable; the latter, visceral, immediate, and unavoidable. Terror excites the mind, while horror convulses the body. Terror elevates, while horror debases. The oppositional yet mutually constitutive relationship between Radcliffean terror and Lewisite horror joins a constellation of unstable binaries, including mind/body, high/low, and feminine/masculine, which have proven valuable for producers and consumers of the Gothic since the eighteenth century. Today, they offer us a potent theoretical framework within which to engage not only classical Gothic texts, but also contemporary ones ranging from political propaganda to body horror. With a focus at once sharp and wide, Gothic Terror, Gothic Horror will stimulate an eclectic and inclusive conversation about the essence of the Gothic.

We invite the submission of abstracts that explore the theme of Gothic Terror, Gothic Horror. We welcome proposed panels of three related papers. Since this IGA conference is the first to be held in the United States, we encourage proposals that consider the theme in relation to the American Gothic.

Topics may include—but are by no means limited to—the following.

  • Conceptual and creative distinctions and intersections between terror and horror across time periods, genres, geographies, media, etc.
  • Stimulating terror and horror in audiences
  • Masculine and feminine Gothic
  • Mind and body in the Gothic
  • Gothic propaganda
  • High and low Gothic
  • “On the Supernatural in Poetry,” Danse Macabre, and other critical approaches to terror and horror
  • Body horror
  • Terror and terrorism
  • Gothic subjectivity and objectivity
  • Torture porn
  • Ann Radcliffe and Matthew Lewis
  • Terror, horror, and the uncanny
  • Gothic veiling and unveiling
  • The Gothic sublime
  • Eco-Horror and Eco-Terror
  • Queering Terror and Horror
  • Deconstructing the Gothic

Please submit a 250-word abstract by January 31, 2019 to, including your name, a short biography, affiliation (if any), and contact details.