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Candyman Registration is now live!

Registration for Candyman and the Whole Damn Swarm is now live! This online conference organised by the Centre for the History of the Gothic at the University of Sheffield and University of California, Riverside will take place on Zoom on 7-9 October 2022 and you can register here for either a full price or concession ticket. There are also a limited number of tickets for separate events.

As well as over 30 academic papers and projects, the conference also includes a keynote panel featuring Dr Kinitra Brooks, Tananarive Due, Dr Robin R Means Coleman, and Jon Towlson as well as two special ‘In Conversation’ events featuring Bernard Rose (writer and director of Candyman, 1992), Tony Todd (lead actor in Candyman 1992), Win Rosenfeld (producer and co-writer of Candyman, 2021), and Sherwin Ovid (portrait artist whose artwork is featured in Candyman, 2021).

You can find the full conference schedule here and you can find all the details about the conference on the Candyman on our website.

Candyman Creative Submissions – Deadline Extended

Candyman and the Whole Damn Swarm is a collaboration between the Centre for the History of the Gothic at the University of Sheffield and the University of California, Riverside, and taking place on Friday 7 – Sunday 9 October 2022. Celebrating the 30th anniversary of the iconic 1992 horror film, this conference seeks to explore, critique and celebrate the legacy of Candyman as text, film and, in it’s latest iteration, clapback…

We have extended the call for creative submission to be featured in our online gallery – whether you want to write a short story about the myth of Candyman, create your own reimagining of the urban legend, make a comic strip about Cabrini Green or paint your own portrait of Candyman himself!

Submissions can include but are not limited to:

  • drawings
  • painting
  • photography
  • digital art
  • prose or poetry
  • short videos
  • posters
  • comic strips
  • music

Please send artwork (plus a short bio) to thewholedamnswarm@gmail.com by 23 August 2023. For more details please see our FAQ

Candyman Keynotes and Special Guests

We are delighted to announce the keynotes and special guests for Candyman and the Whole Damn Swarm: A Thirtieth Anniversary conference.

This hybrid conference is a collaboration between the Centre for the History of the Gothic at the University of Sheffield and University of California, Riverside taking place online and in person on Friday 7 – Sunday 9 October 2022. We invite paper proposals and creative submissions exploring any and all themes of Candyman (1992) and it’s legacies. The deadline for proposals and artwork is 8 July, and you can find the full CFP and more information here.

Keynotes

Our wonderful keynotes Dr Kinitra Brooks, Tananarive Due, Dr Robin R. Means Coleman, and Jon Towlson will join us for a roundtable discussion during the conference (schedule tbc). For more information please visit our Keynotes page.

Special Guests

We are thrilled to be joined by Bernard Rose (Candyman [1992] writer and director), Tony Todd (Candyman [1992] lead actor), Win Rosenfeld (Candyman [2021] co-writer and producer) and Sherwin Ovid (Candyman [2021] portrait artist) for our ‘In Conversation’ events. Schedule tbc – and for more information please see our Special Guests page.

To stay up to date with all of our Candyman and the Whole Damn Swarm conference announcements you can follow us on twitter at @WholeDamnSwarm or follow us on instagram.


Job alert! Modern Humanities Research Association Research Associate (p/time)

We have an exciting opportunity in the School of English at the University of Sheffield to work as a Modern Humanities Research Association Postdoctoral Research Associate on the Cambridge Edition of the Complete Works of Ann Radcliffe, a major eight-volume project which will be published by Cambridge University Press between 2023-6, under the general editorship of Professor Angela Wright, University of Sheffield, and Professor Michael Gamer, University of Pennsylvania. The appointment is funded by the Modern Humanities Research Association (MHRA), which exists to promote high-quality scholarship in English and the Modern Languages. It does this by publishing journals and monographs and by supporting major research projects. The successful applicant will hold the title ‘MHRA Research Associate’.

We are seeking candidates with a PhD in literature, concentrating upon the eighteenth and/or nineteenth centuries, and with knowledge in the fields of Romanticism and the Gothic. In this role, you will work alongside Professor Angela Wright at Sheffield, as well as communicating with, and assisting Professor Michael Gamer and the other members of the international editorial team.

The post is fixed term and part time, and will start on 1 October 22. The deadline for applications is 6 June 2022, and you can find more details by viewing the full application here.

Charity Lecture: The Horrors of Necropolitics in Black Lives Matter Horror Films

Join visiting lecture Dr Maisha Wester on Wednesday 4 May for her talk “You Already Dead”: The Horrors of Necropolitics in Black Lives Matter Horror Films. Organised by The School of English and EngSoc at the University of Sheffield, this charity lecture will be followed by a short Q&A session. All of the proceeds raised from the event will be donated to ASSIST Sheffield, a local charity which provides accommodation, information, and other support to those seeking sanctuary that have been refused asylum. This is a “pay what you feel” event. If you are unable to donate to ASSIST Sheffield, please purchase the free livestreaming ticket from the options on the Eventbrite page. Links to the livestream will be sent out in an email closer to the event.

This talk will take place at St George’s Lecture Theatre, The University of Sheffield as well as being livestreamed. You can book your ticket via eventbrite here.

Abstract: Despairing at the unchecked violence African Americans are consistently subjected to across the US, Black Lives Matter Horror articulates the horrors of racist biopolitics, and the systemic structures and ideologies which not only makes such violence conceivable but which ultimately enables and maintains the slaughter. Building upon the socio-political critiques of independent Blaxploitation Horror films like Ganja and Hess (1973) and Tales from the Hood (1995), films such as “Everybody Dies!” (2016), The First Purge (2018), Two Distant Strangers (2020), and Candyman (2021) — to name just a few of the films — meditate on the nature of US systemic whiteness and its will to destroy Black subjects as part of its Capitalist necropolitics. Black Lives Matter Horror depicts and is informed by the very real and painfully long history of Black subjugation and violation in America. The genre does not simply engage in philosophical speculation but is quite seriously trying to understand and intervene in the anti-Blackness which plagues America.

Dr Maisha Wester is a British Academy-sponsored Global Professor in the School of English. Her research investigates racial representation in Gothic Literature and Horror Film, and socio-political appropriations of Gothic and Horror tropes in racial discourses.

For more on her work and interests, see her website: https://maishawestergothic.wordpress.com/

BBC Radio Scotland: Frankenstein Dundee

“I lived principally in the country as a girl, and passed a considerable time in Scotland. I made occasional visits to the more picturesque parts; but my habitual residence was on the blank and dreary northern shores of the Tay, near Dundee.”

Excerpt from Mary Shelley’s 1831 introduction to Frankenstein

Celebrating the 200th anniversary of the publication of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, Professor Angela Wright discusses the author’s connections to Dundee on BBC Radio Scotland. You can find more information about the programme and Shelley’s Dundee connections here.

Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley Portrait | Romantic Circles
Portrait of Mary Shelley.

Frankenstein Festival, Matlock Bath, 2018

“We left Oxford with regret and proceeded to Matlock, which was our next place of rest. The country in the neighbourhood of this village resembled, to a greater degree, the scenery of Switzerland; but everything is on a lower scale, and the green hills want the crown of distant white Alps which always attend on the piney mountains of my native country.

“We visited the wondrous cave and the little cabinets of natural history, where the curiosities are disposed in the same manner as in the collections at Servox and Chamounix.

“The latter name made me tremble when pronounced by Henry, and I hastened to quit Matlock, with which that terrible scene was thus associated.”

Excerpts from Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein

In 2018, Professor Andrew Smith helped to organise the Frankenstein Festival at Matlock Bath, which uncovered and celebrated the connections between Matlock Bath – and in particular the Great Masson Cavern – and Victor Frankenstein’s journey across England in Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. Part of the festival included a short story competition, and a selection of short stories were read in the Masson Cavern where the winners were also announced. You can read more about the festival and Matlock Bath’s Frankenstein connections here.

BBC Radio 4: Beyond Belief

Beyond Belief: Frankenstein

Featuring Professor Andrew Smith

You can listen to the program here: https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b0bjzq68

File:Frontispiece to Frankenstein 1831.jpg - Wikimedia Commons
Frontispiece to Frankenstein 1831

Frankenstein, the tale of a scientist who creates a creature that ultimately destroyed him, has been a popular subject for films for many years. But the religious content of the original novel written by Mary Shelley is lost on the big screen. Her story centres on the scientist Victor Frankenstein, who plays God. His creation identifies first with Adam and then with Satan in Paradise Lost. He has admirable human qualities but is deprived of love and affection and becomes brutalised. Joining Ernie Rea to discuss Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein are Andrew Smith, Professor of Nineteenth Century English Literature at the University of Sheffield; Marie Mulvey-Roberts, Professor of English Literature at the University of the West of England; and Dr James Castell, Lecturer in English Literature at Cardiff University.

Dr Enrique Ajuria Ibarra

A Conversation with visiting academic, Dr Enrique Ajuria Ibarra

Dr. Enrique Ajuria Ibarra, visiting academic from Universidad de las Américas Puebla, discusses his research on traveling and journeys in Gothic film, his favourite Gothic works, why we should study the Gothic, and plans for the International Gothic Association 2017 Conference.

The Sheffield Centre for the History of Gothic was very excited to welcome Dr Enrique Ajuria Ibarra, from Universidad de las Americas, Puebla, Mexico, as an honorary visiting fellow for two months in 2017.