Previous Conferences and Events

Cults, Cthulus, and Klansmen: The (Hi)stories within Lovecraft Country Symposium, May 2021

This half day online symposium invited scholars, students, and independent researchers to a lively discussion of Misha Green’s award winning series Lovecraft Country. The series explores America’s history on interracial, gendered, sexual violence and international violence through the metaphor of encounters with magic-wielding villains and other-worldly creatures. Notably, many of the most impactful and haunting scenes are not those featuring cthulu-like  creatures attacking innocents but are rather scenes which recreate a history that is horrifically  similar to the nation’s present state. The online nature of the symposium meant that people from diverse locations could attend to consider the socio-political history, theories and critiques of the series. The symposium featured a panel of award-winning scholars and creative artists and writers renowned for their work on African American Gothic/ Horror fiction and culture. Video of the keynote speaker Q&A panel, as well as other materials such as links to relevant resources and playlists, can be found on the symposium’s archive page here.

Gothic Retreat, April 2021

The Centre for the History of the Gothic hosted an online Gothic retreat on Friday 23rd April 2021, featuring presentations of new research by Gothic staff and students, as well as an afternoon of skills-based seminars. These seminars included: a session on public engagement and social media by Sheffield Gothic organisers, Mary Going and Dr Lauren Nixon; publishing and grant applications advice from Dr Kathleen Hudson and Dr Hannah Moss; and a publishing opportunities session by the Centre’s co-directors. A summary of the day is available on the Sheffield Gothic blog here.

Gothic Regions/Regional Gothic Symposium, April 2017

This symposium on Gothic regions, attended by academics, early career researchers and PhD students from a number of institutions, addressed the idea of place and how it relates to the Gothic. It also explored how such Gothic sites might be developed into places of interest for the Gothically-minded tourist.

Emma McEvoy at the start of her paper, ‘Keep Calm I’m a Ripperologist: Appropriation, Negotiation and Protest in the East End’.

The day was led by two external speakers (Dr Catherine Spooner from the University of Lancaster and Dr Emma McEvoy from the University of Westminster), The symposium was organised by Professor Andrew Smith, who co-directs the Centre for the History of the Gothic with Professor Angela Wright, and it was generously supported by funding from the Humanities Research Institute. For a full summary of the day, see the blog post here.

The Future of Gothic Studies: A Gothic Networking Day, July 2016

The Centre for the History of the Gothic hosted a networking day for postgraduates, early career researchers, and academic staff interested in the development of Gothic Studies. Events included:

  • Presentation from Professor Angela Wright and Dr. Andrew Smith, Co-Directors of the Centre for the History of the Gothic
  • Guest talk from visiting academic Dr. Enrique Ajuria Ibarra (Fundación Universidad de las Américas)
  • Roundtable / panel discussion on the future of Gothic Studies and developing research through public engagement and interdisciplinary studies
  • Collaborative networking opportunities for Gothic Centres
  • “Getting Published”: A presentation on academic publication by Dr. Andrew Smith
  • Reimagining the Gothic Research Award Presentation
  • Networking reception

Summer of 1816 Conference: Creativity and Turmoil, June 2016

Organising committee: Dr Maddy Callaghan and Professor Angela Wright of the University of Sheffield

‘The Summer of 1816: Creativity and Turmoil’ was an international conference held at the University of Sheffield in June 2016. ‘The year without a summer’, as 1816 was known, was the year in which Percy Bysshe Shelley, Mary Godwin (later Shelley), Lord Byron, John Polidori and Claire Claremont came together, for the first time, in Geneva.  To commemorate the 200th anniversary of this extraordinary summer, the University of Sheffield celebrated first and foremost the extraordinary meeting of this circle of Romantic authors, as well as the broader creative contexts of 1816. The conference was in part funded by the MHRA.

See the ‘Summer of 1816: Creativity and Turmoil’ website for further information about the conference.

Reimagining the Gothic: Monsters and Monstrosities, May 2016

Organising committee: Kathleen Hudson (Sheffield), Lauren Nixon (Sheffield), Mary Going (Sheffield)

Reimagining the Gothic is an ongoing project that seeks to explore how the Gothic can be re-read, re-analysed, and re-imagined.  In particular, ‘monsters’ and the ways in which monstrosity continues to affect Gothic discourses is an important space for academic and creative exploration.  Our 2016 symposium and showcase event, under the thematic heading of ‘Monsters and Monstrosities,’ encouraged both public interest and new academic avenues from students and scholars who wished to present of the Gothic using interdisciplinary and creative methods. With Reimagining the Gothic: Monsters and Monstrosities we reconsidered notions of monstrousness, explored how the idea of the monster has morphed over the years, and  questioned its place within the Gothic. The event took place on May 6th and 7th, 2016. Organizers are planning on-going projects and events within “Reimaging the Gothic,” and will continue to cultivate new and exciting research in Gothic studies.

Reimagining the Gothic Showcase, May 2015

Organising Committee: Kathleen Hudson (Sheffield); Lauren Nixon (Sheffield); Mary Going (Sheffield); Carly Stevenson (Sheffield)

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‘Reimagining the Gothic’ is a project dedicated to exploring and examining the Gothic with new eyes, utilizing interdisciplinary and artistic methods in both academic research papers and creative pieces. Much of the academic work and research done on Gothic Studies focuses on English Literature, yet its ideologies and conventions exist in and are influenced by many other disciplines as well as popular culture: science, history, archaeology, film, television, music, fashion, comic books and even internet trends.

A symposium and showcasing event took place at the University of Sheffield in May 2015.  Organizers are planning on-going projects and events within “Reimaging the Gothic,” and will continue to cultivate new and exciting research in Gothic studies.

See this Blog on “Reimagining the Gothic” Project
(By Lauren Nixon, Courtesy of Sheffield Gothic Blog)

Radcliffe at 250: Gothic and Romantic Imaginations, June 2014

Organising committee: Angela Wright (Sheffield), Dale Townshend (Stirling); Madeleine Callaghan (Sheffield); Andy Smith (Sheffield); Liam Firth (Sheffield); Fern Merrills (Sheffield); Hamish Mathison (Sheffield); Joe Bray (Sheffield); Mark Bennett (Sheffield); Kate Gadsby-Mace (Sheffield)

More than any other writer, Ann Radcliffe consolidated, enriched and developed the form of the romantic novel in British fiction during the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries.

To celebrate the 250th birthday of Radcliffe and the launch of a co-edited collection of essays Ann Radcliffe, Romanticism and the Gothic , eds. Townshend and Wright (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2014) an international conference “Radcliffe at 250: Gothic and Romantic Imaginations” was held at the University of Sheffield, United Kingdom, in June 2014.

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See the “Radcliffe at 250” official website for further information about the conference, and also the Conference Report on “Radcliffe at 250 Gothic and Romantic Imaginations” conference (By Jonathan Dent, courtesy of Romantic Textualities: Literature and Print Culture, 1780-1840).