In some ways, to edit a collection of critical essays is more difficult than penning one’s own monograph, says English professor Carol Davison, because of the need to integrate widely diverse chapters.
“To make a collection cohere is perhaps the greatest challenge,” says Dr. Davison, head of the UWindsor Department of English Language, Literature and Creative Writing. “I certainly faced that with The Gothic and Death, where I received over 80 abstracts devoted to a variety of texts.”
She says she used five key section headings to tie together its 15 chapters, but “I’ll wait to see what the reviewers have to say.”
Published by Manchester University Press, the book offers the first-ever study devoted to the subject of the gothic and death across the centuries, by way of such uncanny figures as corpses, ghosts, zombies and vampires.
Scottish Gothic, published appropriately enough by Edinburgh University Press, is an interdisciplinary exploration of the multifarious strands of gothic themes in Scottish fiction, poetry, theatre and film — from the mid-18th century to the present day. Books from Scotland listed it among its top five new non-fiction books.
Davison says gothic works probe the dark side of individuals, cultures, and nations, and remain very popular.
“In the right artistic hands, this very malleable cultural form craftily disrupts and interrogates established worldviews and ideologies,” she says. “Just turn on your television sets and you can see its infiltration in such series as Six Feet Under, Westworld, and Game of Thrones.”