CFP: Studies in Gothic Fiction Special Issue – Disabled Gothic Bodies

Call for Papers: Studies in Gothic Fiction Special Issue – Disabled Gothic Bodies

Guest Editor: Dr. Alan Gregory

The Gothic is a mode that displays a sustained cultural fascination with the disabled body. As David Punter notes, ‘the history of … dealings with the disabled body runs throughout the history of the Gothic, a history of invasion and resistance, of the enemy within, of bodies torn and tormented or else rendered miraculously, or sometimes catastrophically, whole’ (2000: 40). Despite the Gothic’s prolonged exploration of corporeal deviations from perceived cultural norms, however, Martha Stoddard Holmes suggests that the scholastic intersections between Disability Studies and Gothic Studies have been largely neglected. Proposals are invited for a special issue of Studies in Gothic Fiction concerned with Gothic representations of the physically disabled body. This issue of the journal will make a valuable contribution in addressing the lack of sustained critical explorations of physical disability as a motif in Gothic fiction, film and television. It will also examine how the Gothic’s uncomfortable conflation of disability and monstrosity creates binary oppositions between spectacles and seclusions of physical difference, and the creation and cure of corporeal disability. In order to diversify from Ruth Bienstock Anolik’s edited collection, Demons of the Body and Mind (2010), the scope of the issue will not extend to Gothic representations of psychological and intellectual disabilities. Topics which may be explored by contributors could include, but are not limited to:

  • Amputation
  • Birth Defects
  • Body Horror Coded as Disability
  • Celebrations of Physical Difference
  • Conjoined Siblings
  • Disabilities as Exceptionalities
  • (Dis)Empowerments of the Disabled Body
  • Entraordinary Bodies
  • (Im)Mobility
  • Monstrous Bodies
  • Phantom Limbs
  • Prostheses
  • Ritual Disfigurement
  • Scientific/Technological Creations/Cures of Disability
  • Spectacular Bodies
  • The Wounded Storyteller

Proposals of approximately 500 words, complete with a 50 word bionote, should be submitted to Dr. Alan Gregory at by Monday 30th May 2016. Contributors can expect to be selected and notified by Friday 17th June 2016. Full drafts of the selected articles will be due on Friday 4th November 2016.

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