GOTHICKA: A Story of Subgenres


ACLS Fellowship Program


Creative Writing


This study of the “Gothick” (a robust genre that has flourished in myriad permutations from the eighteenth century to the present day) is based in the era from which its first practitioners drew their inspiration: the late Middle Ages, its religious cosmology, its literary conventions, and its visual art. This project references fourteenth- and fifteenth-century genres (romances, dream visions, and mystery/morality plays) in their post-Enlightenment reimagining, from Gothick novel and Romantic narrative through nineteenth-century ghost stories into the complex arena of twentieth- and early twenty-first-century subgenres. The Gothick is the crucible in which elements of medieval religious and popular belief were transformed into the floating supernatural lore of contemporary popular culture: monsters, vampires, and ghosts.