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.
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.
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.
“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
“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.
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.
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.