PDF ZOMBIES MANDATE: Find Billy Faulkner

Free download. Book file PDF easily for everyone and every device. You can download and read online ZOMBIES MANDATE: Find Billy Faulkner file PDF Book only if you are registered here. And also you can download or read online all Book PDF file that related with ZOMBIES MANDATE: Find Billy Faulkner book. Happy reading ZOMBIES MANDATE: Find Billy Faulkner Bookeveryone. Download file Free Book PDF ZOMBIES MANDATE: Find Billy Faulkner at Complete PDF Library. This Book have some digital formats such us :paperbook, ebook, kindle, epub, fb2 and another formats. Here is The CompletePDF Book Library. It's free to register here to get Book file PDF ZOMBIES MANDATE: Find Billy Faulkner Pocket Guide.
In this literary fantasy, a zombie rises from the Charles River in Boston to “ Zombie's Mandate: Find Billy Faulkner,” at one of two author events.
Table of contents



I started to explore the connections between fiction as an affective medium and cinema and drama, as it happens! I have long been interested in horror film, but that came later in life. My tolerance for horror films was initially very low, and I even had nightmares where I tried to look away from a screen showing a horror film but my eyelids became see-through! It has rained a lot since then. I am lucky enough that I work at a place where I can develop my interests in Gothic and Horror Studies irrespective of media. In short, I am interested in all things fictional considered dark and nasty, and am especially concerned with why they are considered dark and nasty and how they operate psychologically and socially.

Would you consider yourself a fan of the texts and objects that you study? Or put differently, what came first: It is a hard question to answer truthfully. You end up knowing too much about the conventions and become much more critical. Which is not to say that I no longer enjoy the topic or that fans are uncritical — quite the opposite! I would propose that I am now a lot more interested in the history and value of the Gothic and Horror, which, in turn, makes me more appreciative of its developments and of the contemporary writers who are doing something innovative.

Being this immersed in a subject has also allowed me to discover writers and filmmakers who I would probably never have otherwise, so I guess it is swings and roundabouts. I would say my fan interest informed the critic I am today, but also that I am an atypical horror fan. The lack of distance between fannish enthusiasm and academic interest is also what makes disconnecting from research harder: It is both a blessing and a curse. It certainly appears to be the case that Lovecraft continues to be a vibrant source of intertextuality and homage in the twenty-first century both in literary quarter and across media.

Are there any adaptations, extensions or homages etc. I am in awe of the scope of his imagination and his idiosyncratic writing — personally, I love his cumulative purple prose, which is very baroque and similar to the overwritten style of many a Gothic novel. You have named a few of the writers who have either homaged or expanded Lovecraft in recent years and there are many more, even in non-English speaking countries like Spain — check out Emilio Bueso, although I do not think he has been translated into English yet , but his impact on horror is, I think, even larger.

So yes, I would never say we should forget the fact that he was an awful racist, but I certainly think that that side of his writing has not been what writers and readers have taken from his work. Lovecraft , as my intention with that anthology was to collect fiction that readers of more classical Gothic, say, M. James, who was also published in this series, might appreciate. Those are all faves of mine. As you say, Lovecraft seems to have placed those writers well under his shadow.

But what is it in particular that you think reading those lesser known authors—or at least less known than Lovecraft—are worth investigating, especially for readers not familiar with those works? It is obvious from his long essay Supernatural Horror in Literature that he was not just well read, but had a great sense of the various phases or periods of horror literature, and of where his work would eventually slot in. James, and the previous one, where he writes about John Buchan and William Hope Hodgson Bierce is also covered in the book are revealing, for it is precisely what he sees as innovative in these writers.

Shiel that still managed to produce something new and powerful. It is interesting that he pins the weird tale against the bloody murder and mystery of the Gothic his thoughts about the haunting of the past against the expansive nature of the weird are, of course, very interesting and valid , for in his fiction, he managed to often marry the two rather seamlessly.

What does the term mean to you? I also briefly covered it in Horror: A Literary History with apologies for the shameless plugs! The popular opinion is that the Gothic, previously called a genre, is rather an artistic mode that focused on the dark and the repressed, the fearful and the abject. According to this, horror would be one expression of the Gothic. Personally, I see horror as a genre marked by the emotional effects it attempts to elicit in readers and viewers.

This means that, unlike other genres like the Western, which may be more delimited by setting and characters, horror can take place anywhere in the past, in the present and in the future. Horror is marked by its treatment of the material, in other words. Of course, as happens to all genres, notions of purity are hard to sustain, and horror comedies can merge fear with laughter unproblematically.

I understand the Gothic to be an aesthetic mode delimited by its temporal retrojection to a barbaric or dark past the medieval period initially, but increasingly the Victorian that may manifest at the level of the building the haunted house and which tends to include certain characters: According to this line of thinking, the Gothic would be one more expression, a hybrid one that takes elements from the chivalric romance, of what has become the horror genre. Since the horror genre does not begin out of nowhere, aspects of the Gothic have been recycled and modernised.

Nowadays, I would say that a film like Crimson Peak is a Gothic horror film, but Aliens is an action film with horror elements and The Shape of Water is a monster romance with horror and fairy tale elements. For me the key indicators of a genre are its predominant emotional primers, which is why I see horror as a genre and the Gothic as an aesthetic sometimes thematic mode or subgenre of horror, when the focus is fear. To answer the second part of your question: The Gothic has been through its own path of legitimisation since the s and, actively, since the s and the formation of the International Gothic Association, but for me the Gothic: The Gothic Imagination —15 were real game changers that signalled the word is definitely out there in the public sphere and that it has begun meaning something to people outside academia.

The downside of the mainstreaming of the word is that it has become rather ambiguous and vague, too pliable, if you like. For example, are all narratives that contain a ghost de facto Gothic? For me, the challenge is now to get to the heart of the Gothic. As it becomes, increasingly, its own set of theoretical and critical reading tools, matters are bound to get even more slippery. It all sounds quite murky in a conceptual sense. In cinematic terms, it took Peter Hutchings and David Pirie to bring Hammer Horror out of the pop culture dungeon and into academic appreciation.

Do you see the gothic penetrating contemporary horror cinema; and, if so, what do you think are prime candidates for the descriptor? Or indeed of any other work in the area. I think there is a lot to unpack there. For me the Gothic is aesthetic and thematic, and it is pervaded by the return of the barbaric past. That often takes the shape of the chronotopic castle and the Victorian mansion. Although The Beano and AD are still being published in , what is it about the British comics industry that continues to demonstrate its value for scholarly investigation?

I think that the British comics industry is a fascinating example of the intersections of creativity and commerce. By the end of the s there were at least fifty different titles in the UK, with more emerging in the s and s, and some had weekly circulations of a million or more School Friend in the s ; Jackie in the s. But the market collapsed in the s and today The Beano and Commando are the only ones to remain in print, alongside a selection of magazines that are predominantly based around toys and merchandise.

My research reveals that this had its roots in company policies, the denigration of creators and readers, economic factors, and a loss of clear direction and identity for previously distinct titles. When sales started to fall on an established title it would be merged with another to artificially boost the circulation figure. This would keep it alive for a time, but there was always the possibility of it ending abruptly if sales kept falling.

The merger strategy led to a loss of clear identity, and readers would quickly drift from the new combined title as their favourite stories or characters appeared less or were watered down. Having invested years of time, emotion and money, readers were understandably upset when their comic ended without warning — often with serials simply unfinished, or wrapped up abruptly and unconvincingly in a single episode.

For me—following critics such as Hannah Priest , Spooner and Buckley —this is just another example of how certain demographics such as young female audiences and consumers are marginalised and disregarded socially and critically. Acknowledging their agency and allowing their tastes to shape the canons of literature and popular media gives a quite different — and much wider — picture of what a genre such as Gothic can be.

In many ways it seems that Misty "plundered" images from pop culture—the Carrie analogue is an excellent example. I think the exploitation model you mention is exactly what Pat Mills had in mind for Misty. My role models were Carrie and Audrey Rose , suitably modified for a younger audience. The back and forth between the two publishers had been going on for decades, across all genres. When DC Thomson's Warlord came out it had longer stories and dramatic layouts, and IPC responded to its military themes and gritty action.

These were comics filled to the brim with trauma and angst, and this was the wave of which Spellbound and Misty would become a part. It owes a lot to its stablemate Tammy and also competitor titles such as Diana and Spellbound. It also draws heavily on the surrounding atmosphere of horror in s Britain. The s were a strange time in the UK — uncertain politically and threatening globally — with terrible fashions, recessions and ideologies coexisting alongside great advances in technology, environmental law, and equalities. Many of the Misty stories articulate specific fears of the decade environmental, social , and it also draws strongly on the contemporary new age witch in the character of Misty herself.

So horror for both adults and children was at its zenith in the s, and Misty of course follows the cultural mood. A number of the Misty serials adapt contemporary horror books and films in different ways. It perhaps also takes its title and scenario from The Sentinel Konvitz, ; movie adaptation dir. Winner, in which protagonist Alison discovers her Brooklyn apartment building contains the gate to hell and that she has been chosen by God to be its guardian. All of these categories resonate with Gothic themes power, control, persecution, isolation, suspense.

But my analysis of Misty showed that the categories are seldom clear cut and around a quarter of its stories do not fall into any of these categories.

Upcoming Events

So instead I used an inductive approach: These included elements such as external magic; internal powers; wishes being granted; actions backfiring, and so forth. My findings were especially interesting as they revealed that the stories contained an emphasis on personal responsibility — echoing the dominant mood of s horror movies and other British media such as public information films. Dark fantasy, ghost stories and alterities abound. At the cusp of the millennium imprints such as Point Horror or Goosebumps emerge.

Many of the most popular have clear similarities, as young female protagonists experience isolation, transformation, and Otherness during a quest for individuation. I argue that this is an undertheorised subgenre, despite appearing over and over again in texts for young female readers around the cusp of the millennium.

It takes place in a magical realist world, focusing on a young female protagonist who is usually isolated or trapped in some way. The narrative enacts and mediates their wakening to this and their own magical potential. Temptation and transgression are the main catalysts, creating a clear moral or lesson, as traditional fairy tale sins greed, pride, laziness are common sources of conflict. In this way, Gothic for Girls constructs and acknowledges girlhood as an uncanny experience. That's a very condensed version of my findings and my critical definition!

Literary scholarship — including Gothic criticism — has also often treated its privileged texts as anomalies, for example citing the genius of Radcliffe or Shelley as exceptions to the norm. Rather than framing Misty as a title of exceptional brilliance, I use it as an exemplar of the unsung significance of British comics and their creators more generally. Publishers are seeking to revitalise the comics industry today and comics studies is fast becoming its own academic discipline and thus creating its own canons both academic and fan-based.

I think that the story of Misty demonstrates that we should aim for a more inclusive approach than has been the case previously in literature, art and society. In particular, perhaps, a Gothic for Girls? Originally serialised in British comic Taboo , the collected edition is a work of vast scope with extensive references and appendices. Nothing like the abysmal movie, this comic is an impeccably researched retelling of the Whitechapel murders that terrorised Victorian London in Alan Moore brings in cosmology, conspiracy, black magic, secret societies, time travel and more to create a work of speculative faction that will mess with your understanding of history, time, and space.

The oppressive darkness of a nighttime train journey is the catalyst and its skillfully evoked as Berry combines a sense of creeping menace with outright shock. You can also read a preview for free at http: It tells the story of the three Locke children, Tyler, Kinsey and Bode, who move to their ancestral home, Keyhouse, after their father is murdered.

The American horror comics that sparked the introduction of the Comics Code are classics of the genre and well worth a read. Or dig into some less well-remembered titles from other publishers such as Atlas who would become Marvel , or Harvey Comics. Junji Ito is the master of Japanese horror — in particular body horror that simultaneously tends towards the psychological and pathological. His most famous manga, Uzumaki , is about a town whose inhabitants become obsessed with spirals. If you like it then do check out his other work — Tomie is another great starting point.

She has recently completed two AHRC-funded studies examining how digital transformations affect young people's reading. I have had the honour and pleasure of working alongside Julia Round since I secured my first full-time post at Bournemouth University. Not only have a learned a great deal from Julia over the past four years but I have also been continually impressed by her keen insights and rigorous scholarship—her monograph Gothic in Comics and Graphic Novels is an exceptional work and I highly recommend it. In this interview, Julia and I discuss the Gothic, and the way in which comic books, especially in the UK, have engaged with the tenets and tropes of the phenomenon.

I still have a lot to learn from Julia and consider myself a passionate student of her work, going back to when I was an undergraduate and PhD candidate at the University of Sunderland. In your monograph, Gothic in Comics and Graphic Novels , you begin by saying that: Was there anything in particular that instigated such a viewpoint? One of the more obvious examples of Gothic themes in comics is, of course, the American horror comics of the s and s. They were absolutely dominant for a short period of time, circulating over 60 million copies per month.

Like the earliest Gothic texts, these comics went against the grain of social acceptability: The problem was that they were sold on newsstands and to children, prompting widespread moral panic and a Senate investigation that forced the American industry to commit to a Code of self-censorship in In many ways this has shaped the comics medium in Britain and America today as it led to the dominance of the superhero genre and the rise of the underground.

There are historical parallels to be drawn, as comics have often been considered sensationalist, lowbrow and subversive — much like Gothic texts. Gothic themes also underpin many genres of comics — not just the obvious examples of horror comics. Today the genre has developed away from its action-driven origins, moving towards introspection and confessional narratives. The cultures that surround Gothic and comics also share similarities. They both carry a weight of cultural assumptions and stereotypes, for example Goths are seen as depressed, morbid and pretentious, while comics are the domain of geeky fanboys and fangirls.

We might consider Goth as an identity performance using surface appearance and fetishized commodities: Comics cosplay performs similar tensions, as it asserts individuality homemade costumes, the accompanying pose and performance, adaptations and subversions such as re-gendering whilst still adopting an industry-controlled image. Both Goth and comics subcultures present outwardly as a collaborative group, while remaining split internally in defence of particular titles or types of knowledge. Finally, I think comics narratives exploit Gothic in their storytelling structure and formalist qualities, and this is the main subject of my first book.

My own work synthesises and builds on these critics and uses Gothic critical theory to revalue their ideas. I use three key Gothic concepts haunting, the crypt, and excess to analyse the comics page. I suggest that if we use this holistic approach to evaluate comics, we will find that every page employs one or more of these three tropes to enhance its message, and the way that it is used will give insight into the story.

So for me, comics can be considered Gothic in historical, thematic, cultural, structural and formalist terms, and Gothic characteristics can be found in the most unlikely of places one of my articles analyses the uncanny perspectives and destabilised narrative used in the Care Bears comics! The tensions and paradoxes between surface and depth have always appealed to me. When did your journey into comics begin? Would you consider yourself a fan first and foremost? Or was it academic study that sparked your interest in the medium? I read comics as a kid, but not obsessively. Hellblazer, Preacher and of course Sandman were the first ones I remember reading, thanks to my brother.

buscar novia en madrid

Confessions of an Aca-Fan

They grabbed my attention and challenged my expectations of what I thought could be done with narrative and storytelling. They were also irreverent, parodic, and self-aware, and I loved that. My academic study did play a big part in honing my interest in comics though. When I began to encounter critical theory in earnest during my undergraduate degree BA English Literature, Cardiff University , I became interested in genre theory and semiotics. The Vertigo comics told stories that I thought really pushed the boundaries of genre, and exploited the Romantic notion of the author, using structure and semiotics to create reflexive meaning.

My supervisor was landmark Gothic theorist David Punter, which doubtless shaped my thesis as I explored the applicability and use of different genre models in contemporary comics, such as myth, the Fantastic, and Gothic. In your view, how might Gothic be best described? I think Gothic is hard to categorise because it is so wide-ranging.

It takes on different forms at different times and in different media.


  • ;
  • 50 Jobs Worse Than Yours.
  • Kinder des Lebens (Fischer Klassik Plus 68) (German Edition)?
  • Sous lemprise des ténèbres: Risa Jones, T2 (BIT-LIT) (French Edition).
  • .
  • Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplexing for Wireless Communications (Signals and Communication Technology).

Even if we just focus on Gothic literature, how can we find a definition that reconciles texts ranging from The Castle of Otranto Walpole, to Twilight Meyers, ? They are miles apart in historical, philosophical, formal, generic and cultural terms. Gothic motifs have changed as the genre developed — Fred Botting identifies a turn from external to internal, and contemporary Gothic incorporates suburbia alongside the haunted castle. Its archetypes have also shifted — vampires are now sympathetic Nina Auerbach , and zombies have moved from living slaves to cannibalistic corpses, and back again to an infected human.

Critical approaches to Gothic are equally diverse, and many critics argue that Gothic is more than a genre, and may be better understood as a mode of writing or ur-form David Punter , a poetic tradition Anne Williams , a rhetoric Robert Mighall , a discursive site Robert Miles , or a habitus Timothy Jones. Gothic is also full of contradictions — mobilising fear and attraction simultaneously and inviting us to read its texts as both shockingly transgressive taboo acts and events and rigidly conservative as these acts are punished and order restored.

Gothic remains notoriously hard to define in all these models, and somewhat tautological. Critics like Baldick and Mighall have pointed out that most definitions really tell us more about what Gothic does than what it actually is. Critics such as Catherine Spooner , and Chloe Buckley also draw attention to overlooked Gothics that are celebratory or playful and which rely more on aesthetics than thematics.

So Gothic becomes multiple and mutable, ranging from parody to pain, and can appear as affect, aesthetic, or practice. Punter and Jerrold E. Fear is of course a key element, although subjective, and so many critics focus on its textual presence rather than speculating about reader response, and try to identify the various forms that fear can take — most famously writer Ann Radcliffe separates it into terror the unseen and speculative and horror the dramatic and repulsive. For me, Gothic is a mode of creation both literary and cultural that draws on fear and is both disturbing and appealing.

It is an affective and structural paradox: It is built on confrontations between opposing ideas, and contains an inner conflict characterised by ambivalence and uncertainty. It inverts, distorts, and obscures. Its common tropes which are both aesthetic and affective include temporal or spatial haunting, a reliance on hidden meaning the crypt , and a sense of excess beyond control — and these are the three key components of my critical approach to comics.

Within Gothic I recognize the distinctions that Radcliffe draws between terror the threatening, obscured and unknown and horror the shocking, grotesque and obscene. Alongside these terms I also recognize horror as a cinematic and literary genre that privileges this second type of fear: Is there a critical and conceptual distinction between the Gothic tradition and horror? Do you see these two functioning as a binary or do they possess a more closely knit relationship? I think there is a distinction between Gothic and horror.


  1. What is the Best Theology.
  2. Dead Plains (Zombie West Book 3).
  3. Confessions of an Aca-Fan?
  4. Mahabharatha Volume Four;
  5. .
  6. In punta di forchetta: Storie di invenzione in cucina (Italian Edition)!
  7. American magazine, August by American University - Issuu.
  8. In general there is agreement that Gothic terror is psychological and insidious while horror is violent and confrontational see for example Gina Wisker ; Dale Townshend , although the categories sometimes cross and blur. I also think medium has also played a part in validating and distinguishing the two.

    So within Gothic I follow the distinctions Radcliffe draws between horror and terror, but alongside these terms I also recognize horror as a cinematic and literary genre that privileges this second type of fear. When it comes to horror I certainly think there has been a value judgement made of the type you suggest — but alongside this I would stress that only one particular type of Gothic has been canonised the serious, weighty, literary and often historical.

    So within Gothic itself there is a tension and a disparagement of certain types — particularly relating to the tastes of particular audiences such as young girls. What authors and artists do you think have successfully adopted the Gothic aesthetic in their works? Are they historically contingent or is it more widespread that we might commonly think? I want to pick that question apart a little first as I think a Gothic aesthetic is different from a Gothic thematic.

    These aesthetic Gothics are often denigrated and viewed as lightweight, and there is a danger that when we analyse them we resort to simply listing motifs. I think Gothic has a complicated relationship between surface and depth; where aesthetic motifs can be linked with affective themes, but can also be decoupled. Purely aesthetic Gothics are often denigrated, like the works of Burton, which have been criticised as lightweight and superficial. But Gothic has always been populist, and if we trace a path back through the Romance, sensationalist and Decadent genres as critics such as Crawford have done we can see that Gothic is in fact very widespread, varied, and popular in all its different forms.

    However, Misty may be somewhat alien to readers outside the field and British geography. Can you explain what it is about Misty that you find worthy of academic enquiry? The serials were generally tales of personal growth where a heroine is thrown into the middle of a mystery, for example by receiving a magic item, or strange powers. But the single stories were even better — horrible cautionary tales in which bad heroines were punished in a number of very imaginative ways! They might be trapped permanently in magical items such as crystal balls, snow globes, music boxes, or weather houses; aged prematurely; ousted from their bodies; or transformed into something monstrous!

    They can also die in a number of horrible ways. I think it has stood the test of time due to some great storytelling and fantastic artwork. But the comic that Misty became was much more than just horror rewrites. Its first editor Wilf Prigmore introduced the character of Misty herself, its fictional host and editor, who is beautifully drawn by Shirley Bellwood and acts as a sort of spirit guide to its readers. Its main editor Malcolm Shaw was a wonderful writer who shaped Misty around his own literary interests in science fiction and myth. The art came from a number of British and European artists who were absurdly talented — many of the Spanish artists who worked on Misty were also drawing for American horror titles such as Creepy and Eerie Warren Publishing at the same time, and they did not pull their punches.

    I led a small research project that combined qualitative and quantitative analysis of layout and used the findings to reflect on current formalist comics theory — the findings were very illuminating!

    Carter Martin (Author of Zombie's Mandate)

    So although it is a great example of Gothic storytelling structure and themes, I think Misty can also tell us a lot about the motivations and limitations of the British comics industry see below , the aesthetics of comics storytelling, and at a wider level the intersections of genre and gender. My in-depth page analysis of Misty found that the vast majority of the pages were transgressive in some way, and I used these findings to reflect on established comics theory from scholars such as Thierry Groensteen and Neil Cohn.

    It led me to rethink many ideas about page layouts. The project also looks closely at how Gothic archetypes, tropes and themes are being reworked for a younger readership. As I mentioned above, the tastes of young female audiences have often been mocked and marginalised, and so there is a significant gap in scholarly material around these texts and their distribution that is only just starting to be addressed. Analysing the types of narratives that are offered to these readers tells us a lot about the cultural construction of gender and about the way in which genres like Gothic have been conceptualised and curated, excluding the tastes of particular demographics and privileging a narrow view of the genre.

    So although it began as an attempt to track down a half-remembered story and explore my ideas about Gothic in comics from a new angle, my Misty project has grown far beyond that. I hope my database will enable further research and be a useful tool to help fans and scholars find those stories that they half remember or that are relevant to their work. My full critical book Gothic for Girls: As each film was produced in almost ten-year intervals, what can this tell us about the texts comparatively from a cultural trauma perspective?

    The element of The Blair Witch Project that I admire the most is just how oppositional it felt compared to other horror films of the late s. The Blair Witch Project to me really felt like a visceral reaction against that kind of self-aware post-modern horror film. It is still a self-aware film, but with zero irony. Its effectiveness comes from the film very much returning to basics on the cultural anxiety front. You have, in The Blair Witch Project , a folk tale about a folk tale, in a way. There is something to be said of the film presenting this anxiety about America, being American, and the position of America on the brink of the new millennium.

    There is this resonance with the American frontier, and this overconfidence that at the brink of the millennium we have won against nature, we have beaten back this hostile force and have emerged victorious, but the film reminds us that there are still hostile places in America, places we cannot master.

    Quarantine is a remake of the Spanish horror film Rec , which only came out a year before it in In Rec we find out that the cause of a rapid spreading infection is of religious origin, whereas in Quarantine it is a doomsday cult that have developed the virus. Unfriended is a great film, and I was so excited to see how they built on it for Unfriended 2: An abundance of films came out in the wake of Unfriended like SickHouse , which used apps like Snapchat as a horror format, and they work surprisingly well.

    There is a thread that runs through the film which relates to the lifespan of the internet, or more, how long things remain on the internet once you have put them out there on the web. We have seen recently, for example with the controversy over tweets from James Gunn, how the internet has a long memory, and can come back around to haunt you.

    There is a tendency in scholarly circles to analyse cultural objects as if they are reflections of the socio-political and cultural era in which they were produced and that historical context can be simply read off of the text. This is true of anything that comes out of a cultural moment, whether it be cinema, television, music, art, or slang. I would argue however that if we get stuck in purely looking at industrial and technological factors, we just end up repeating facts and figures. However, if we put both together — or at least try to assimilate the two approaches — it would be far more fruitful.

    I would also say that as with all approaches to cinema, no one approach covers everything. I find the idea that the horror genre specifically somehow has to be authenticated or legitimised — and that a way of doing this is through cultural readings — very odd. Although, there certainly is still a strange hierarchy of horror both in horror fandom and horror scholarship. In terms of scholarship, the horror genre is often positioned as being in a state of crisis, most often in reference to the multitude of remakes that were released in the mid s.

    But we only need to look at the sheer volume of cinematic and televisual horror products in the last few years to see that is absolutely untrue. I thought that was interesting — why would IT be bad news for horror fans? In turn, I admit that I am guilty of this myself at times, I have always been protective to a certain extent over the horror genre and its perceived status as an oppositional genre. For example, when I first started my research, I was vitriolic in my dislike of the Paranormal Activity films, and made a conscious effort to step back and address my own position on that series of films.

    I have found a great deal of scholarly work holds contemporary horror up to a benchmark of s horror cinema. It is something of a privilege, as a film scholar, to be in a position where you might be able to bring lesser-known films to wider attention, and there is definitely a shift in horror scholarship that seeks to redress the imbalance caused by so much focus being given to a relatively small pool of horror directors and movements.

    A lot of your questions have been tough to answer, but this is the toughest! This one was a bit of a given, and I apologise for being thoroughly predictable! This film follows the story of three student filmmakers who want to make a documentary about a local legend — The Blair Witch. They enter the Burkittsville woods in Maryland and are never seen again. The film we watch is presented as the footage they captured before their disappearance, which was recovered from the woods.

    There is so much fascinating work available on this film, and the main reason for this is that The Blair Witch Project is — almost 20 years after its release — still such a compelling film. Made for so little money, it is a masterclass in constructing fear around suggestion. I would highly recommend searching out the accompanying documentary, The Curse of The Blair Witch , and watching that beforehand. The Bay really shows how diverse the found footage horror format can be.

    Released in — post YouTube and iPhones — the film uses a variety of different types of footage dashboard camera, handheld cameras, FaceTime messaging, Skype and webcams to name only a few , to present a narrative about a governmental cover-up of water toxicity in a small town on the Eastern shore, which has created mutant isopods which are far more creepy than they sound! There is a prevalent theme in the found footage horror subgenre of characters searching for truth or evidence, of media mistrust, and of the general public being in danger of becoming collateral damage.

    You may wonder why I have chosen Quarantine here and not Rec, and my reasoning for that purely comes down to personal preference, Rec could just as easily be on this list. Either film would make for a great comparison viewing with The Blair Witch Project — both films use the same basic found footage format as The Blair Witch Project , but in terms of energy and visceral impact, take that form careening off in a massively different direction. They are attending what seems to be an odd but ultimately low risk call, when all hell breaks loose and they find themselves trapped within a quarantined zone.

    The reason I have selected this film is because of how quickly it descends into high octane chaos — a common complaint about found footage horror is the amount of dead time viewers have to sit through — this film wastes no time in placing the camera in the middle of panicked action sequences. I have a lot of favourite parts in this film, and overall it shows how the often maligned shaky, unsteady framing of found footage horror works so well within a high energy film — it adds to the atmosphere of dread and frenzy so well.

    The Sacrament is a modern reimagining of The Jonestown Massacre of By featuring the real life media brand Vice, and their specific style of immersionist journalism, West presents to us an interpretation of what happened just before and during the Jonestown event. Alex has forbidden Jay from ever trying to discuss the tapes with him.

    As you can imagine, the footage starts to become fractured, odd, distorted, and ever more creepy as the story progresses. I started watching Marble Hornets around , and was instantly enthralled by it. Along with the YouTube entries, there were also Twitter accounts that tied into the storyline, and a side channel on YouTube, totheark, that also released videos that fed into the storyline.

    A lot of copycat narratives have followed in the wake of Marble Hornets , none as brilliant, so I would wholeheartedly recommend giving the series a watch. Shellie McMundro is currently a PhD candidate at the University of Roehampton, where she is examining found footage horror cinema and its connection to cultural trauma. She has presented her work, on found footage horror and additionally on new media horror, period drama, and horror gaming, at a variety of conferences.

    Her research interests are extreme horror, new media, trauma theory, online fandoms, and transmedial texts. Nearly all come from fatherless homes. His mother went to prison when he was eight, and he bounced around the foster care system until her release, seven years later. She retreated to Venezuela, where she once worked for the Carter Center, to undertake a silent meditation and pen a business plan for Mentoring Today.

    She envisioned an organization where volunteers would serve not only as mentors but also as legal advocates, helping juveniles—who opt into the program— navigate the murky reentry process. Unlike other programs, which connect mentors with kids after they return home, Spain wanted to begin building relationships with the juveniles four to six months before their release. Soon after, they found space in a warehouse near Marvin Gaye Park in northeast D. The space was, however, great for fund raising.

    Staff retreats consisted of snacking on ice cream sandwiches and strolling through the park. Weeks later, they made their. Mentoring Today was up and running. The details will emerge eventually, but up to this point the youth have been defined by their crimes: For the first time in a long time, the kids have a clean slate. There are games and food—carefully laid out on the same tables each week, as structure and routine are important—to help the pairs get to know one another in a relaxed, nonthreatening environment. They submit to weekly or twiceweekly drug tests, counseling, and substance abuse treatment and must attend school, work, or both.

    They have multiple—often conflicting— curfews and daily appointments that can take them to opposite ends of the city. A frequent question for mentors: Others fall off the radar but reemerge when a crisis arises and leads them back to their mentor for help. Nationally, 45 percent of mentoring relationships last 12 months. Under the guidance of the WCL students, 97 percent of youth active in Mentoring Today enroll in school or a GED or vocational program upon their release—compared to only 57 percent of juvenile offenders nationwide.

    Many go on to college. Seventy-one percent also obtain partor full-time employment. Often, as is the case with Marquis and his mentor, Claire Grandison, they stay in touch even after the mentor collects her law degree and takes a job outside of the D. But asked for evidence that the Mentoring Today model works, Louchheim—a mother of two young sons, whose instinct to nurture, encourage, and protect extends to her other kids—offers an anecdote. These kids are more childlike than they appear, and they just want to be loved.

    For them, our meetings are a very bright spot in a rough week, a rough month. Have we eradicated the need for a program like Mentoring Today? From Aristotelian times to the age of Twitter, people have educated, entertained, and enlightened humankind through stories. American University began teaching journalism in the s, when pen, paper, and film were the primary tools of the trade. Laptops are rendering desktops obsolete, and digital cameras have made darkrooms feel like relics of the dark ages.

    In the world of communication, technology seems to evolve as quickly as breaking news. Like a tree falling in that hard-to-wrapyour-head-around forest with no one in it, they must be heard or read or seen to exist at all. Engagement is ultimately the concept that unites all the pieces of the school.

    We are engaging people through the journalism that we do, through the films we make, the campaigns we develop, and eventually the games we make. We seek not just to entertain but to inform, to transform; we seek to revise, to reinforce. There are a lot of verbs that come along with storytelling. You go from a smattering of spaces and places to a powerful physical presence. We hope you do, too.

    That same remarkable day, I interviewed Orlando Letelier, the former Chilean defense minister under Allende who had been granted asylum in the U. Letelier told me that the U. Letelier was deeply suspicious, and he certainly did not believe that was coincidental. I left his Bethesda home that day stunned by what I had heard. A year and a half later, in September , I was in a grad school class when I heard constant and very loud sirens. A few blocks away, on Sheridan Circle, Letelier had been assassinated by killers specifically sent to Washington by President Pinochet.

    In the dead of night, they had placed a radiodetonated bomb beneath his car parked in that same cul-de-sac in Bethesda where I had driven and parked the year before. It was and remains the first and only time a foreign head of state ordered a known political assassination on the streets of Washington. I was 21 years old and had never met anyone who was later brutally murdered. From then on, there could be no higher calling for me than exposing abuses of government, corporate, or other power, through tenacious, tough, but fair investigative reporting.

    I went to the University of Missouri to become a journalist. I was in the journalism library late at night, looking for a book in the stacks. A book fell off the shelf and hit me in the head. It was called Existential Journalism by a guy named John Calhoun Merrill, who actually was a faculty member at Missouri. It was maybe pages. I sat down and read it immediately, and reading that book changed my mind about becoming a journalist.

    I decided to become a scholar of journalism. One day I was watching local news, and there was a story about Maya Angelou being in town for a book signing. She was staying at the Madison Hotel, and she sat down and gave me an interview like I was somebody from 60 Minutes. She talked about how she pulled herself up out of the South and went to Europe, and about how disappointed she was at the youth of the time who seemed reluctant to take an educated risk, a risk that would eventually pay big dividends.

    After we played that on the air, I would periodically go back and revisit her comments. So I took a. The night before I won Oscar No. When I got to the lectern, I looked out at the audience and saw her. Angelou, but I took your advice. The summer after my first year of grad school, I cold-called Mary Ellen Mark, a photographer who shot for Life magazine and still shoots for Rolling Stone.

    It was exciting to see Mary Ellen so nervous on set, because she had been doing this for some years. She was published in every major magazine, so to watch her get nervous about shooting somebody was a real lesson to me: Here I am with these two amazing women artists. It was one of those defining moments that made me think anything is possible for me in this career. My earliest memory with them is of my cousin, my uncle, and myself all crowded around a small television screen playing a game called Mega Man X. It was also during this time that my father introduced my brother and me to football.

    A game console called the Super Nintendo helped to build a bridge between my father and me. Some of my fondest memories are. I may have been scared, but I always knew my old man was there to protect me. Not only did we spend time actually playing the games, but we also enjoyed many conversations about them as well. In the years that followed, I bonded with many new people over video games. They helped me through moving, helped me make friends in school, and continue to shape my life. My fellow scholars and I have made the decision to dedicate our careers to helping others, and I believe that video games are the way to do it.

    I hope that the games I make can educate, help others through tough times, or create bonds in the same way they did for me. One day, two longtime friends went to a bar in Bayonne after work. The bar hung balloons near the mugs; you could toss a tiny pen knife, and if you popped the balloon, you got a free beer. He bled out in minutes. We covered the story about the horror of killing your best friend. The police came and took the guy home. Eighteen months later, we got another story about two cousins riding the subway back to Jersey from lower Manhattan, where they were watching Kung Fu movies.

    They were pantomiming the fights when one guy hit the glass, fell onto the tracks, and died. The cousin who kicked the other one was taken out in handcuffs and charged with involuntary manslaughter. I looked at the story: Why was this guy being charged? Our front-page story compared the cases: The next morning the prosecutor dropped the charges.

    Seventeen years ago my daughter was born 15 minutes into my first sabbatical. I had a baby to play with in the morning, a three-year-old to play with in the afternoon, and a little time on my hands. I was so inspired by it. What can I do? It was a small, dinky space, and I examined their books, videos, posters, and bumper. I reported back that the coalition had two groups with incredibly powerful stories to tell, yet neither had a voice.

    After analyzing their literature and messages, I helped reframe the debate. It boiled down to this question: Now conservatives no longer use the deterrence argument. Along with several other people, I was part of a group that changed the debate on the death penalty. He said I reminded him of a student. I ended up covering the family rather closely, sleeping several times at their eventual home in Memphis—I guess I was an early embed—and driving my rental car to a pay phone so I could file my stories to rewrite at the News American in Baltimore.

    I have a picture of me, sitting on the sofa with them, watching the scratchy TV news as their son was freed. I also was mentioned in a New York Times story about media, noting how I was describing phone calls that came in before dawn. I used to ask the parents why they talked; the families just wanted their stories told, to keep their relatives front and center. They grew bolder as time wore on. I guess what I wrote was in there, too. This was before cellphones, social media, and the world online. For a while we sent holiday cards but eventually lost touch.

    Then the parents and I reunited several years ago after finding each other on Facebook. We giggled like relatives, and I was glad I had treated them with respect so long ago. I had recently quit my job selling title insurance to banks and was working for free at the Chicago Reporter. After a few months, my editor, Tom Corfman, assigned me to gather data for a story on hate crimes, an annual roundup of reported bias-motivated crimes throughout the city and suburbs.

    As I set out to gather the data,. I discovered that the Illinois State Police officers were breaking the law by failing to track hate crimes. But instead of reverting to the old paper system, state police just ignored them. It was a revelation to see how one reporter with the right tools could produce such a detailed and revealing analysis.

    Local papers published blurbs about the story, and soon the state police vowed to gather the statistics on hate crimes. I realized then the power of the press to set right a wrong. I saw firsthand how powerful data-driven stories could be. I suspected it then, but I know it now. When the Persian Gulf War started, they sent me to the region on two occasions for about two months apiece. At the time of the U. I was part of the first wave of helicopters that flew into Iraq from Saudi Arabia.

    On the morning of the invasion, I and a few other journalists were spread out among the helicopters, which were sitting like giant insects with their blades drooping down. I was standing out on the tarmac with American forces, the sun coming up, and one of the commanders was listening to BBC on a small radio.

    It was an intense scene—some of the soldiers were openly praying, making the sign of the cross. No one knew what to expect. It occurred to me at that time, what an extraordinary opportunity it was for me to witness and participate in these historic events. Journey is unlike any video game I have ever played. I discovered it through Flower, a video game in which you pick up flower petals by controlling the wind. After doing some research, I discovered Journey was made by the same company as Flower, and within the next few days, I bought a PS3 to play for myself.

    The objective of Journey is to get to a mountain far in the distance without any knowledge of why you need to get there. Your character, a genderless cloaked creature with black pointy legs and a scarf, appears to be the only creature of its kind in what starts out as a desert.

    After exploring for a while, you eventually encounter another character who looks just like you. Your experience in this world is affected by how you interact with this other player. Working together can lead you to new areas and regenerate health,. Instead, Journey uses visuals, sounds, and interactions.

    This was the game that sparked my interest in games that tell stories. So many game designers rely heavily on written text above other methods to communicate their message. Body language, images, color, size, style—they all tell stories in their own way. One of the languages listed, Wendish, is connected with Serbin, Texas, an unincorporated town not too far from Austin, where I am from and where I was living at the time. I also love history and culture, so. I was amazed that I had never heard of the Texas Wends or their efforts to preserve their language and culture. Their settlement flourished for a time, but eventually the Texas Wends were absorbed into the German Texan culture.

    At the time I interviewed volunteers of the Texas Wendish Heritage Society, few if any descendants remained who could speak. Traditions, however, remain alive. I learned that certain egg noodles, Easter egg decorating techniques, and other traditions can be traced back to the Wends. My first year on staff with tb two, a newspaper for high school students published by the Tampa Bay Times, I was attending an annual music festival called Next Big Thing.

    While I was there representing the paper and inviting attendees to stop by our booth, I also walked around, listening to music and visiting different vendors. There was a booth near ours called To Write Love on Her Arms, which is a nonprofit that helps people struggling with depression. Inside the tent was a wall where people anonymously jotted down their fears and dreams.

    Some of the fears included codependent relationships, and some of the dreams were graduating high school, loving your body, inspiring others. As I was reading them, I realized that everything on that wall had a story behind it. I decided to talk to one of the girls who had just finished posting on the wall. I explained that I wrote for the local paper, and she opened up about her life. Her name was Sydney, and. It also was a reminder for her to stay strong, even when her life gets difficult. Her greatest dream was to tell her life story to keep other people alive. Sydney was my first impromptu interview.

    I only knew that I wanted to learn more about her. Talking to her showed me that there are so many amazing stories unfolding around us every day. I went to cover the program but quickly realized an abundance of other stories in the kitchen. One such story was Dawain Arrington, a kitchen manager and graduate of the program who had served time in jail for murder. I was fascinated by his story. He had a presence in the room and a good relationship with all the people there.

    So I came back and spent the day with him. He took me to a crime-ridden neighborhood called Eastgate in D. He showed me the place where he sold drugs for the first time and where he was arrested when he was He then told me what landed him in jail. Standing at the scene of the crime, Arrington told me about how he was at the parking lot where a young man was killed.

    He was charged with the murder. He got out at the age of 32 on a technicality, and at that moment he turned his life around. He struggled, at first, with life on the outside. And then he found D. I could tell it meant a lot to him to tell his story, and it was very moving for me. The international studies scholar, who minored in Arabic, explored how al-Qaeda uses the Internet to attract, radicalize, and train lone wolfs like the Tsarnaev brothers and Fort Hood shooter Major Nidal Hasan.

    The graphic design major used maps and graphs to convey the scope of the problem and created a cohesive brand identity for the nonprofit Fruit and Veggie Alliance. Is Chinglish—English influenced by the Chinese language, often ungrammatical or nonsensical—a perversion of the English language or legitimate dialect? International studies and Chinese double major Alexandra Vanier argued the latter in her capstone, written entirely in Mandarin. International studies major Nicole Atallah examined the official narratives of Vietnam, Indonesia, and the Philippines to determine if their historical memory colors presentday relations with Japan.

    Under the guidance of astrophysicist U. Sofia, Dhanesh Krishnarao explored the prominence of sulfur—one of the most copious elements in the universe— in interstellar dust and its impact on extinction. A bio wonk fascinated by molecular genetics, Sneh Hanspal worked with biology professor David Carlini and his research team to explore the evolutionary effect of codon bias on Escherichia coli, harmful strains of which can cause food poisoning.

    Business administration major Nick Linsmayer explored how two killer apps—utilitarian giving and leapfrog technologies— help nonprofits combat global poverty. Horvath graduated with dual degrees in anthropology and Spanish and Latin American studies. NUDES Playing with dramatic studio lighting and using a large-format camera, Rebecca Zisser explored the similarities and differences between the male and female form. FDR and Jimmy Carter. A — Fulbright Scholar, Chehirian is studying the social history of Bulgarian psychiatry. Women also felt pressured to put more effort into their looks.

    History views the crack epidemic in D. She offered two case studies: The experience inspired her capstone about how campaigns use academic research on voter mobilization to get out the vote. Dark fantasy, ghost stories and alterities abound. At the cusp of the millennium imprints such as Point Horror or Goosebumps emerge. Many of the most popular have clear similarities, as young female protagonists experience isolation, transformation, and Otherness during a quest for individuation. I argue that this is an undertheorised subgenre, despite appearing over and over again in texts for young female readers around the cusp of the millennium.

    It takes place in a magical realist world, focusing on a young female protagonist who is usually isolated or trapped in some way. The narrative enacts and mediates their wakening to this and their own magical potential. Temptation and transgression are the main catalysts, creating a clear moral or lesson, as traditional fairy tale sins greed, pride, laziness are common sources of conflict.

    In this way, Gothic for Girls constructs and acknowledges girlhood as an uncanny experience. That's a very condensed version of my findings and my critical definition! Literary scholarship — including Gothic criticism — has also often treated its privileged texts as anomalies, for example citing the genius of Radcliffe or Shelley as exceptions to the norm.

    Rather than framing Misty as a title of exceptional brilliance, I use it as an exemplar of the unsung significance of British comics and their creators more generally. Publishers are seeking to revitalise the comics industry today and comics studies is fast becoming its own academic discipline and thus creating its own canons both academic and fan-based.

    I think that the story of Misty demonstrates that we should aim for a more inclusive approach than has been the case previously in literature, art and society. In particular, perhaps, a Gothic for Girls? Originally serialised in British comic Taboo , the collected edition is a work of vast scope with extensive references and appendices.

    Nothing like the abysmal movie, this comic is an impeccably researched retelling of the Whitechapel murders that terrorised Victorian London in Alan Moore brings in cosmology, conspiracy, black magic, secret societies, time travel and more to create a work of speculative faction that will mess with your understanding of history, time, and space. The oppressive darkness of a nighttime train journey is the catalyst and its skillfully evoked as Berry combines a sense of creeping menace with outright shock.

    You can also read a preview for free at http: It tells the story of the three Locke children, Tyler, Kinsey and Bode, who move to their ancestral home, Keyhouse, after their father is murdered. The American horror comics that sparked the introduction of the Comics Code are classics of the genre and well worth a read.

    Or dig into some less well-remembered titles from other publishers such as Atlas who would become Marvel , or Harvey Comics. Junji Ito is the master of Japanese horror — in particular body horror that simultaneously tends towards the psychological and pathological. His most famous manga, Uzumaki , is about a town whose inhabitants become obsessed with spirals. If you like it then do check out his other work — Tomie is another great starting point.

    She has recently completed two AHRC-funded studies examining how digital transformations affect young people's reading. I have had the honour and pleasure of working alongside Julia Round since I secured my first full-time post at Bournemouth University. Not only have a learned a great deal from Julia over the past four years but I have also been continually impressed by her keen insights and rigorous scholarship—her monograph Gothic in Comics and Graphic Novels is an exceptional work and I highly recommend it.

    In this interview, Julia and I discuss the Gothic, and the way in which comic books, especially in the UK, have engaged with the tenets and tropes of the phenomenon. I still have a lot to learn from Julia and consider myself a passionate student of her work, going back to when I was an undergraduate and PhD candidate at the University of Sunderland.

    In your monograph, Gothic in Comics and Graphic Novels , you begin by saying that: Was there anything in particular that instigated such a viewpoint? One of the more obvious examples of Gothic themes in comics is, of course, the American horror comics of the s and s. They were absolutely dominant for a short period of time, circulating over 60 million copies per month. Like the earliest Gothic texts, these comics went against the grain of social acceptability: The problem was that they were sold on newsstands and to children, prompting widespread moral panic and a Senate investigation that forced the American industry to commit to a Code of self-censorship in In many ways this has shaped the comics medium in Britain and America today as it led to the dominance of the superhero genre and the rise of the underground.

    There are historical parallels to be drawn, as comics have often been considered sensationalist, lowbrow and subversive — much like Gothic texts. Gothic themes also underpin many genres of comics — not just the obvious examples of horror comics. Today the genre has developed away from its action-driven origins, moving towards introspection and confessional narratives. The cultures that surround Gothic and comics also share similarities. They both carry a weight of cultural assumptions and stereotypes, for example Goths are seen as depressed, morbid and pretentious, while comics are the domain of geeky fanboys and fangirls.

    We might consider Goth as an identity performance using surface appearance and fetishized commodities: Comics cosplay performs similar tensions, as it asserts individuality homemade costumes, the accompanying pose and performance, adaptations and subversions such as re-gendering whilst still adopting an industry-controlled image. Both Goth and comics subcultures present outwardly as a collaborative group, while remaining split internally in defence of particular titles or types of knowledge. Finally, I think comics narratives exploit Gothic in their storytelling structure and formalist qualities, and this is the main subject of my first book.

    My own work synthesises and builds on these critics and uses Gothic critical theory to revalue their ideas. I use three key Gothic concepts haunting, the crypt, and excess to analyse the comics page. I suggest that if we use this holistic approach to evaluate comics, we will find that every page employs one or more of these three tropes to enhance its message, and the way that it is used will give insight into the story. So for me, comics can be considered Gothic in historical, thematic, cultural, structural and formalist terms, and Gothic characteristics can be found in the most unlikely of places one of my articles analyses the uncanny perspectives and destabilised narrative used in the Care Bears comics!

    The Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy: Zombies!

    The tensions and paradoxes between surface and depth have always appealed to me. When did your journey into comics begin? Would you consider yourself a fan first and foremost? Or was it academic study that sparked your interest in the medium? I read comics as a kid, but not obsessively. Hellblazer, Preacher and of course Sandman were the first ones I remember reading, thanks to my brother.

    They grabbed my attention and challenged my expectations of what I thought could be done with narrative and storytelling. They were also irreverent, parodic, and self-aware, and I loved that. My academic study did play a big part in honing my interest in comics though. When I began to encounter critical theory in earnest during my undergraduate degree BA English Literature, Cardiff University , I became interested in genre theory and semiotics. The Vertigo comics told stories that I thought really pushed the boundaries of genre, and exploited the Romantic notion of the author, using structure and semiotics to create reflexive meaning.

    My supervisor was landmark Gothic theorist David Punter, which doubtless shaped my thesis as I explored the applicability and use of different genre models in contemporary comics, such as myth, the Fantastic, and Gothic. In your view, how might Gothic be best described? I think Gothic is hard to categorise because it is so wide-ranging. It takes on different forms at different times and in different media. Even if we just focus on Gothic literature, how can we find a definition that reconciles texts ranging from The Castle of Otranto Walpole, to Twilight Meyers, ?

    They are miles apart in historical, philosophical, formal, generic and cultural terms. Gothic motifs have changed as the genre developed — Fred Botting identifies a turn from external to internal, and contemporary Gothic incorporates suburbia alongside the haunted castle. Its archetypes have also shifted — vampires are now sympathetic Nina Auerbach , and zombies have moved from living slaves to cannibalistic corpses, and back again to an infected human.

    Critical approaches to Gothic are equally diverse, and many critics argue that Gothic is more than a genre, and may be better understood as a mode of writing or ur-form David Punter , a poetic tradition Anne Williams , a rhetoric Robert Mighall , a discursive site Robert Miles , or a habitus Timothy Jones. Gothic is also full of contradictions — mobilising fear and attraction simultaneously and inviting us to read its texts as both shockingly transgressive taboo acts and events and rigidly conservative as these acts are punished and order restored. Gothic remains notoriously hard to define in all these models, and somewhat tautological.

    Critics like Baldick and Mighall have pointed out that most definitions really tell us more about what Gothic does than what it actually is. Critics such as Catherine Spooner , and Chloe Buckley also draw attention to overlooked Gothics that are celebratory or playful and which rely more on aesthetics than thematics.

    So Gothic becomes multiple and mutable, ranging from parody to pain, and can appear as affect, aesthetic, or practice. Punter and Jerrold E. Fear is of course a key element, although subjective, and so many critics focus on its textual presence rather than speculating about reader response, and try to identify the various forms that fear can take — most famously writer Ann Radcliffe separates it into terror the unseen and speculative and horror the dramatic and repulsive. For me, Gothic is a mode of creation both literary and cultural that draws on fear and is both disturbing and appealing.

    It is an affective and structural paradox: It is built on confrontations between opposing ideas, and contains an inner conflict characterised by ambivalence and uncertainty. It inverts, distorts, and obscures. Its common tropes which are both aesthetic and affective include temporal or spatial haunting, a reliance on hidden meaning the crypt , and a sense of excess beyond control — and these are the three key components of my critical approach to comics.

    Within Gothic I recognize the distinctions that Radcliffe draws between terror the threatening, obscured and unknown and horror the shocking, grotesque and obscene. Alongside these terms I also recognize horror as a cinematic and literary genre that privileges this second type of fear: Is there a critical and conceptual distinction between the Gothic tradition and horror? Do you see these two functioning as a binary or do they possess a more closely knit relationship?

    I think there is a distinction between Gothic and horror. In general there is agreement that Gothic terror is psychological and insidious while horror is violent and confrontational see for example Gina Wisker ; Dale Townshend , although the categories sometimes cross and blur. I also think medium has also played a part in validating and distinguishing the two. So within Gothic I follow the distinctions Radcliffe draws between horror and terror, but alongside these terms I also recognize horror as a cinematic and literary genre that privileges this second type of fear.

    When it comes to horror I certainly think there has been a value judgement made of the type you suggest — but alongside this I would stress that only one particular type of Gothic has been canonised the serious, weighty, literary and often historical. So within Gothic itself there is a tension and a disparagement of certain types — particularly relating to the tastes of particular audiences such as young girls.

    What authors and artists do you think have successfully adopted the Gothic aesthetic in their works? Are they historically contingent or is it more widespread that we might commonly think? I want to pick that question apart a little first as I think a Gothic aesthetic is different from a Gothic thematic. These aesthetic Gothics are often denigrated and viewed as lightweight, and there is a danger that when we analyse them we resort to simply listing motifs.

    I think Gothic has a complicated relationship between surface and depth; where aesthetic motifs can be linked with affective themes, but can also be decoupled. Purely aesthetic Gothics are often denigrated, like the works of Burton, which have been criticised as lightweight and superficial. But Gothic has always been populist, and if we trace a path back through the Romance, sensationalist and Decadent genres as critics such as Crawford have done we can see that Gothic is in fact very widespread, varied, and popular in all its different forms.

    However, Misty may be somewhat alien to readers outside the field and British geography. Can you explain what it is about Misty that you find worthy of academic enquiry? The serials were generally tales of personal growth where a heroine is thrown into the middle of a mystery, for example by receiving a magic item, or strange powers. But the single stories were even better — horrible cautionary tales in which bad heroines were punished in a number of very imaginative ways! They might be trapped permanently in magical items such as crystal balls, snow globes, music boxes, or weather houses; aged prematurely; ousted from their bodies; or transformed into something monstrous!

    They can also die in a number of horrible ways. I think it has stood the test of time due to some great storytelling and fantastic artwork. But the comic that Misty became was much more than just horror rewrites. Its first editor Wilf Prigmore introduced the character of Misty herself, its fictional host and editor, who is beautifully drawn by Shirley Bellwood and acts as a sort of spirit guide to its readers. Its main editor Malcolm Shaw was a wonderful writer who shaped Misty around his own literary interests in science fiction and myth.

    The art came from a number of British and European artists who were absurdly talented — many of the Spanish artists who worked on Misty were also drawing for American horror titles such as Creepy and Eerie Warren Publishing at the same time, and they did not pull their punches. I led a small research project that combined qualitative and quantitative analysis of layout and used the findings to reflect on current formalist comics theory — the findings were very illuminating!

    So although it is a great example of Gothic storytelling structure and themes, I think Misty can also tell us a lot about the motivations and limitations of the British comics industry see below , the aesthetics of comics storytelling, and at a wider level the intersections of genre and gender. My in-depth page analysis of Misty found that the vast majority of the pages were transgressive in some way, and I used these findings to reflect on established comics theory from scholars such as Thierry Groensteen and Neil Cohn.

    It led me to rethink many ideas about page layouts. The project also looks closely at how Gothic archetypes, tropes and themes are being reworked for a younger readership. As I mentioned above, the tastes of young female audiences have often been mocked and marginalised, and so there is a significant gap in scholarly material around these texts and their distribution that is only just starting to be addressed. Analysing the types of narratives that are offered to these readers tells us a lot about the cultural construction of gender and about the way in which genres like Gothic have been conceptualised and curated, excluding the tastes of particular demographics and privileging a narrow view of the genre.

    So although it began as an attempt to track down a half-remembered story and explore my ideas about Gothic in comics from a new angle, my Misty project has grown far beyond that. I hope my database will enable further research and be a useful tool to help fans and scholars find those stories that they half remember or that are relevant to their work. My full critical book Gothic for Girls: As each film was produced in almost ten-year intervals, what can this tell us about the texts comparatively from a cultural trauma perspective?

    The element of The Blair Witch Project that I admire the most is just how oppositional it felt compared to other horror films of the late s. The Blair Witch Project to me really felt like a visceral reaction against that kind of self-aware post-modern horror film. It is still a self-aware film, but with zero irony. Its effectiveness comes from the film very much returning to basics on the cultural anxiety front. You have, in The Blair Witch Project , a folk tale about a folk tale, in a way. There is something to be said of the film presenting this anxiety about America, being American, and the position of America on the brink of the new millennium.

    There is this resonance with the American frontier, and this overconfidence that at the brink of the millennium we have won against nature, we have beaten back this hostile force and have emerged victorious, but the film reminds us that there are still hostile places in America, places we cannot master. Quarantine is a remake of the Spanish horror film Rec , which only came out a year before it in In Rec we find out that the cause of a rapid spreading infection is of religious origin, whereas in Quarantine it is a doomsday cult that have developed the virus.

    Unfriended is a great film, and I was so excited to see how they built on it for Unfriended 2: An abundance of films came out in the wake of Unfriended like SickHouse , which used apps like Snapchat as a horror format, and they work surprisingly well. There is a thread that runs through the film which relates to the lifespan of the internet, or more, how long things remain on the internet once you have put them out there on the web.

    We have seen recently, for example with the controversy over tweets from James Gunn, how the internet has a long memory, and can come back around to haunt you. There is a tendency in scholarly circles to analyse cultural objects as if they are reflections of the socio-political and cultural era in which they were produced and that historical context can be simply read off of the text.

    This is true of anything that comes out of a cultural moment, whether it be cinema, television, music, art, or slang. I would argue however that if we get stuck in purely looking at industrial and technological factors, we just end up repeating facts and figures. However, if we put both together — or at least try to assimilate the two approaches — it would be far more fruitful. I would also say that as with all approaches to cinema, no one approach covers everything. I find the idea that the horror genre specifically somehow has to be authenticated or legitimised — and that a way of doing this is through cultural readings — very odd.

    Although, there certainly is still a strange hierarchy of horror both in horror fandom and horror scholarship. In terms of scholarship, the horror genre is often positioned as being in a state of crisis, most often in reference to the multitude of remakes that were released in the mid s. But we only need to look at the sheer volume of cinematic and televisual horror products in the last few years to see that is absolutely untrue.

    I thought that was interesting — why would IT be bad news for horror fans? In turn, I admit that I am guilty of this myself at times, I have always been protective to a certain extent over the horror genre and its perceived status as an oppositional genre. For example, when I first started my research, I was vitriolic in my dislike of the Paranormal Activity films, and made a conscious effort to step back and address my own position on that series of films. I have found a great deal of scholarly work holds contemporary horror up to a benchmark of s horror cinema.

    It is something of a privilege, as a film scholar, to be in a position where you might be able to bring lesser-known films to wider attention, and there is definitely a shift in horror scholarship that seeks to redress the imbalance caused by so much focus being given to a relatively small pool of horror directors and movements. A lot of your questions have been tough to answer, but this is the toughest!

    This one was a bit of a given, and I apologise for being thoroughly predictable! This film follows the story of three student filmmakers who want to make a documentary about a local legend — The Blair Witch. They enter the Burkittsville woods in Maryland and are never seen again. The film we watch is presented as the footage they captured before their disappearance, which was recovered from the woods. There is so much fascinating work available on this film, and the main reason for this is that The Blair Witch Project is — almost 20 years after its release — still such a compelling film.

    Made for so little money, it is a masterclass in constructing fear around suggestion. I would highly recommend searching out the accompanying documentary, The Curse of The Blair Witch , and watching that beforehand. The Bay really shows how diverse the found footage horror format can be. Released in — post YouTube and iPhones — the film uses a variety of different types of footage dashboard camera, handheld cameras, FaceTime messaging, Skype and webcams to name only a few , to present a narrative about a governmental cover-up of water toxicity in a small town on the Eastern shore, which has created mutant isopods which are far more creepy than they sound!

    There is a prevalent theme in the found footage horror subgenre of characters searching for truth or evidence, of media mistrust, and of the general public being in danger of becoming collateral damage. You may wonder why I have chosen Quarantine here and not Rec, and my reasoning for that purely comes down to personal preference, Rec could just as easily be on this list. Either film would make for a great comparison viewing with The Blair Witch Project — both films use the same basic found footage format as The Blair Witch Project , but in terms of energy and visceral impact, take that form careening off in a massively different direction.

    They are attending what seems to be an odd but ultimately low risk call, when all hell breaks loose and they find themselves trapped within a quarantined zone. The reason I have selected this film is because of how quickly it descends into high octane chaos — a common complaint about found footage horror is the amount of dead time viewers have to sit through — this film wastes no time in placing the camera in the middle of panicked action sequences.

    I have a lot of favourite parts in this film, and overall it shows how the often maligned shaky, unsteady framing of found footage horror works so well within a high energy film — it adds to the atmosphere of dread and frenzy so well. The Sacrament is a modern reimagining of The Jonestown Massacre of By featuring the real life media brand Vice, and their specific style of immersionist journalism, West presents to us an interpretation of what happened just before and during the Jonestown event.

    Alex has forbidden Jay from ever trying to discuss the tapes with him. As you can imagine, the footage starts to become fractured, odd, distorted, and ever more creepy as the story progresses. I started watching Marble Hornets around , and was instantly enthralled by it. Along with the YouTube entries, there were also Twitter accounts that tied into the storyline, and a side channel on YouTube, totheark, that also released videos that fed into the storyline.

    A lot of copycat narratives have followed in the wake of Marble Hornets , none as brilliant, so I would wholeheartedly recommend giving the series a watch. Shellie McMundro is currently a PhD candidate at the University of Roehampton, where she is examining found footage horror cinema and its connection to cultural trauma. She has presented her work, on found footage horror and additionally on new media horror, period drama, and horror gaming, at a variety of conferences.

    Her research interests are extreme horror, new media, trauma theory, online fandoms, and transmedial texts. Shellie is researching the found footage sub-genre through the lens of cultural trauma for her PhD thesis. She has also agreed to contribute a chapter on the Blair Witch film series for Horror Franchise Cinema , an anthology which I am co-editing with Dr. Mark McKenna for Routledge. The interview is published in two-parts. What is about the found footage horror genre that drew you to the topic?

    And how are you approaching it in terms of cultural trauma? I had a few false starts, where I went through a series of different topics as ideas for my PhD research. I thought at one point I was going to research torture horror, was very into rape revenge narratives for a while, and then I set my mind on examining the Slenderman phenomenon, which was back then in its infancy. In the end, I decided to study what I love, which is found footage horror. I vividly remember watching The Blair Witch Project when I was around 15 years old, and being convinced it was real.

    I was unshakable in my certainty that I had just seen the last moments of three documentarians, and that their footage had somehow been found in the Burkittsville Woods and made into a film. You have to remember this was a good while before social media, and really, the internet back then was not the same internet we have now. Of course, that belief was relatively short lived, but that film, and my belief in its veracity, really stayed with me, as it was so unlike anything else I had seen at that point.

    I had been heavily invested in horror films since my older brother had forced me to watch The Evil Dead when I was seven, but there was something about The Blair Witch Project that made it scarier to me than the other horror films I had watched. So, The Blair Witch Project definitely played a part in bringing me to this topic, and it sparked a passion for the found footage horror format.

    In the period between The Blair Witch Project and Paranormal Activity — which it could be argued is the film that really brought found footage horror to a wider audience — in , I would diligently seek out found footage horror films to watch, films like The Last Horror Movie , August Underground , and the superb Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon. It was only after the success of Paranormal Activity that found footage horror production boomed, and it started to seem like every other film was in that style.

    It was at that point that I started to feel quite protective of the found footage horror format. There is definitely a desire that has driven my research in that I almost wanted to be a champion of found footage horror, and of new horror more widely. Primarily, what has kept me engaged with looking at found footage horror is a mix of my own experience with the format throughout my formative years, and how the subgenre continues to fascinate me by constantly reinventing itself.

    It is a format that not only is able to evolve but needs to constantly evolve because it presents itself as part of our reality, so it needs to stay up to date with the audience in their current cultural moment. That adaptability is definitely one of the strengths of the subgenre.

    Another aspect that has contributed to its staying power is just how broad the variety of stories are that the format can lend itself to, which is great for me, as it has essentially allowed me to have so many different strands in my research! My background, having studied History as my major at undergraduate level, gave me a keen awareness of the historical context different films were emerging from, and that has been a constant element in my work so far. A trauma studies perspective fits found footage horror particularly well, because to an even greater extent than other horror subgenres, found footage horror is so hyper aware of its audience, its formal aesthetics, and its context.

    Occasionally this means that found footage films tend to date themselves very quickly, because they are always involved in this reflexive awareness of the technology that is around at the time of their production. But on the flipside, because of this constant dialogue with its cultural context that found footage horror has, it works so well as a commentary on what cultural anxieties were present at the time. One of the things that I admire most about the horror genre more widely is how it evolves and adapts, and it has always been an early adopter of new media forms, much more so than other genres.

    The intention of my current research is to examine found footage horror in reference to cultural events that have changed Western society. As each of these events have happened, there have been accompanying new cultural fears that have come with them. The chapter that I am currently writing is looking at the relationship between documentary and found footage horror. If we take Cannibal Holocaust as the starting point of the genre, we can see that the documentary format is something the subgenre consistently returns to.

    With The Sacrament, the narrative is a reimagining of the Jonestown Massacre of , but set in the modern day. Then, a few years later in , it was released on a video on demand service, before it was quickly pulled from there after only a week. This ephemerality of the film has just added to its mystique and the myths around it. The recounting of your lived experience with The Blair Witch Project is fascinating and I believe that this kind of response is what the filmmakers had in mind in promotional terms. We might describe this as a method of signalling authenticity through paratexts—of reality rather than the codes and conventions of realism.

    Complicating matters further, the actors had signed a contract not to appear in other media for a year in order to construct Cannibal Holocaust as a legitimate documentary, and Deodato even had to produce the actors to show that they were indeed alive, before the court case was dropped. In your research, have you come across other examples of such ballyhoo and promotional gimmickry in relation to found footage films? You have mentioned The Blair Witch Project. You are absolutely right, paratexts play such a huge part in a large amount of found footage horror films, whether this is an attempt to try to build some hype for a film, to encourage viewers to engage pre- and post- viewing, or a genuine attempt at trying to pass the film off as being real.

    Cloverfield for example, had two websites, which were set up long before the film was released, in addition to Myspace profiles for the main characters. One of the websites www. But the Cloverfield websites definitely fall into the category of trying to get viewers involved, rather than encouraging them to believe the film is real, which - given the content of the film - would be a bit of a stretch! The most notorious of these was uploaded in , entitled NYC Socialite Overdose , which showed people at a party with pixelated faces supposedly snorting cocaine.

    Youtube subsequently removed the video — I think it may have been re-uploaded since - but confusion arose from several media outlets as to the veracity of the footage, and gossip websites began to speculate over the identity of celebrities that may have been involved. Eventually the director, Justin Cole, released a statement in on Dreadcentral. What is even more intriguing is how this confusion is really kind of an accident due to the film not being released for a decade.

    A great deal of the online articles on the film also have this fixation on the idea that the film was banned, which it never was. I must note though that it is unclear if they truly believe that or are playing into the idea of that possibility. It is however a remarkably brutal film and definitely stands out for that reason within found footage horror more generally. The eponymous tapes in the film also have that look that we have become familiar with through beheading videos, or through gore websites such as Rotten.

    For those of you who are interested in our work on the civic imagination, I am happy to give you a case in point. The Library of Congress, a month or so back, did a screening of the original trilogy of Star Wars films and to accompany it, they hosted a public discussion of the ways these films represented politics. I was one of the speakers, and I used my time to stress the political activities which have taken place around Star Wars itself — ranging from its use by political candidates and social movements to the struggles over representation in the films and the issue of toxic fandom.

    It was a lively exchange with a bunch of smart panelists and well worth watching whether you are a Star Wars fan or not. Who can totally escape the influence of Star Wars on our culture? Well, apparently, the head of the Kluge Center, but few others…. What are you currently focusing on for your next project? Part of the project looks at the influence of martial-arts cinema upon fighting games, and how the games singled out by moral reformers all had especially cinematic qualities due to the digitization of photographed actors.

    Another piece explores how the controversy was rooted in parental fears about collapsing the disreputable space of coin-op arcades into the domestic sphere shades of my previous work on grind houses during the rise of bit home consoles. So part of the project is also a reception study of the different games and how the constraints of their home ports became a referendum on not only fighting games as a genre, but also on the technological platforms where they were played. Leather Bar Jump Cut , , so that may or may not turn into a fully-fledged book, depending on whether the unpublished chunks cohere together or get parted out into freestanding articles.

    What are your thoughts about fan studies in ? Although my two books are very much interventions in the field of fan studies in their own way and I also teach courses on fan cultures , I personally feel rather alienated from most of the objects that currently dominate that field. If anything, recent events like GamerGate, the U. More to the point, so much current scholarship on fandom tends to focus in a quasi-celebratory way on the micropolitical minutiae of how fans engage with the latest TV shows, Tumblr blogs, or social-media hashtags that more important macropolitical perspectives often get lost in the flow.

    For instance, too much work in fan studies becomes an implicit form of corporate boosterism by enthusing about whatever new show, new networking platform, new technology, etc. Perhaps this is a bit of leftist nostalgia on my own part, but fan studies needs a strong dose of old-fashioned Marxist scepticism if it wants to evolve beyond an inadvertent corporate cheerleader in our current moment.

    Can you expand on this point further? How are fan scholars imbricated in corporate cheerleading from your perspective? As a Foucauldian, I completely understand that the micropolitical is still political—but I also become concerned when much but certainly not all current research in fan studies takes such a micro-specific focus on the intricacies of individual case studies that it seems to miss the forest for the trees when it comes to the increased penetration of capitalist interests into what were once more de-centered subcultures.

    I am, for example, unaware of political activists tapping into vintage porn or grindhouse cinema as a site of the civic imagination but I stand to be corrected on this. I am neither defending nor criticising Jenkins—not least because of where this interview is published. Gender, Pornography and Power , and on this very blog , as well as being on the editorial board of the Porn Studies journal.

    What is missing; and what directions do you believe fan studies as a discipline should be exploring to avoid limitations of this sort? As an example, during a very depressing two years between earning my Ph. I worked for minimum wage in a mouse-infested factory by day, scanning used books for online sale at the same time I was finishing up my second book by night. Because SIFF was more adventurous in that regard than many universities would be, I also had a far wider variety of students than found in most university classrooms—including older women, adult industry workers, new media professionals, members of the local kink community, and even fellow academics.

    But, like I said earlier, we all try to find our own silver linings! Nor are these necessarily the most influential or historically significant ones. But these ones all seem to crystallize some major trends from one of the big decades for exploitation films. This Japanese production is miles ahead of any other women-in-prison movie, in my personal opinion, with plenty of pure genre thrills and a compelling mix of realism and deliberately theatrical staging. Meiko Kaji, who would also star in the Lady Snowblood films, features here as a young woman who has been sentenced to hard time for attacking her corrupt ex-boyfriend, a police officer who left her to be raped by the yakuza.

    In Coffy , she also avoids the sexual victimization her character faces in the quasi-sequel Foxy Brown. Soaking in Southern-fried atmosphere, this is among the greatest and most darkly humorous American horror movies, and was a big hit on the drive-in circuit throughout the s. Made on a shoestring by a low-budget crew of then-amateurs, the film has since become seen as a treatise on such diverse topics as class conflict, industrial mechanization, animal rights, patriarchy run amok, the death of the counterculture, and so on.