Gothic collection wins top prize

The odds were in her favour, and UWindsor English professor Carol Davison did not disappoint.

The Gothic and DeathDr. Davison’s collected edition, The Gothic and Death, has won the Allan Lloyd Smith prize from the International Gothic Association. It was one of three nominations Davison received for the prize — all three of her books made it on to the four-book shortlist.

“I was extremely honoured and delighted to receive this prize, especially given my admiration for Allan’s work,” said Davison.

“Although I was, unfortunately, unable to accept the award in person, I had a colleague thank all of the judges who voted for this book, the IGA for supporting the prize, and each of the incredible contributors who worked so very hard to make this volume on The Gothic and Death a worthy contribution to the fields of Gothic and Thanatology studies.”

The book, a collection of 15 essays, is the first study of Gothic and death spanning the mid-18th century to the zombie and vampire fiction of today.

Davison’s other books that made it on to the shortlist are The Edinburgh Companion to Scottish Gothic and Global Frankenstein. The former, co-edited by Monica Germanà, contains essays written by some of the top authors in Scottish studies and Gothic studies. Global Frankenstein, co-edited by Marie Mulvey-Roberts, was published last year to mark the bicentenary of the publication of the Mary Shelley classic.

Davison is the first author to earn three nominations for the prize.

Of The Gothic and Death, the judges wrote that they were impressed with its ambition and originality.

“This collection opened up an overdue conversation,” said one judge. “The topic seemed blindingly obvious — yet, chapter by chapter, I became increasingly convinced that the absence of a sustained enquiry into the Gothic and death was a serious omission.”

The Allan Lloyd Smith prize is named in memory of the International Gothic Association’s founding president, who taught creative writing and literature at the University of East Anglia in England.

Davison’s win was announced at the IGA conference held recently at Lewis University in Illinois.

—Sarah Sacheli