The term Gothic has a long and varied history. Its meaning ranges from medieval building-styles through Victorian literature to the Gothic revival in present-day popular culture. Although the (neo) Victorian novel and (neo) Gothic subculture have been described, analysed and discussed, the aspect of perversion has as yet been left out of contemporary scholarly debate. Was the Victorian Gothic novel born out of nostalgia for the Middle Ages, or was it rather a perversion of the religious ideals of this era? And similarly: do the dress codes, the inverted crosses and dark wave music of the modern ‘Goths’ signify romantic nostalgia or perverted reinterpretation? Which artistic or social functions can such rewritings have?
During the international conference 'Nostalgia or Perversion?', speakers from different disciplines will address these issues. The conference will aim both at giving an overview of the history of Gothic rewritings, and at reflecting upon the tension between nostalgia and perversion in such works. Papers will address the emergence, rewriting and perversion of the Gothic themes mentioned as well as their artistic and/or social function in literature, music, film, fashion and digital arts.
For the conference program, see the website.
Dr. Isabella van Elferen
Radboud University Nijmegen
Dept. of Comparative Arts and Cultural Studies
6500 HD Nijmegen
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