DRACULA AND THE GOTHIC IN LITERATURE, POP CULTURE AND THE ARTS
An Interdisciplinary Colloquium at the Centenary of Bram Stoker’s death
University of Minho – Braga, Portugal
29-30 June 2012; Abstract deadline: 15 April 2012
Few literary works have had such a lasting influence on popular culture as Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1897). One hundred years after the Irish author’s death, the abundance of adaptations of the Romanian Count’s tale spans over all the arts and modes of expression. More than 200 film versions of Dracula exist, from Murnau’s inaugural 1922 Nosferatu to Coppola’s 1992 box office hit, but it is perhaps Bela Lugosi’s iconic interpretation in the 1931 horror film classic that first comes to mind. Theatre plays and musicals, as well as dance performances, also abound, making Dracula a trendy stage motif. TV adaptations are countless and even a remarkable radio version of Stoker’s story by Orson Welles (1938) is on record. Stoker’s character also features in such diverse media as video games, cartoons, comics, anime and manga.
In literature, the Gothic – a combination of horror, romance and melodrama in supernatural plots – can be traced back to Walpole’s 1764 The Castle of Otranto, A Gothic story, and the vampire theme also bears a Romantic matrix: Lord Byron’s epic poem “The Giaour” (1813), Coleridge’s “Christabel” (1816) and John W. Polidori’s short story The Vampyre (1819), not to mention Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein (1818), all present undead creatures as their uncanny protagonists. After Elizabeth C. Grey’s influential story The Skeleton Count (1828), two Victorian milestones are Varney the Vampire (1847), attributed to James M. Rymer, and Sheridan le Fanu’s novella Carmilla (1872). In the 20th century, Gothic and vampire fiction proliferated, with such authors as Algernon Blackwood, William H. Hodgson, M. R. James and, of course, H.P. Lovecraft, the most reputed writer of ‘cosmic horror’. To this day a steady production flow, which ranges from Richard Matheson to best-selling Stephen King, bears witness to Stoker’s ‘undying’ impact.
This interdisciplinary colloquium seeks to reappraise the multimodal and multimedia adaptations of Stoker’s Dracula, in their literary, cinematic, theatrical, televised, and computerized facets, as well as the origins, evolution, imagery, mythology, theory and criticism of Gothic fiction and of the Gothic (sub)culture. We welcome contributions for 20-minute papers in English on any aspect of Bram Stoker’s legacy, as well as on Gothic / horror / supernatural manifestations in literature, pop culture and the arts.
Possible topics include (but are not restricted to):
• Stoker’s Dracula in its social, cultural and political environment
• Gothic forerunners: Horace Walpole, Clara Reeve, Ann Radcliffe
• Romanticism, melodrama and the supernatural
• Victorian Gothic: from Dickens to the Brontës
• Fin-de-siècle revival of the Gothic: Robert Louis Stevenson’s Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde (1886) and Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray (1891).
• Stoker abroad: issues of reception and translation of Dracula around the world
• Female Gothic romance in the 20th century: Phyllis A Whitney, Victoria Holt, Joan Aiken, Barbara Michaels
• Southern Gothic: Carson McCullers, Flannery O’Connor, Tennessee Williams, William Faulkner
• Present-day horror: from Anne Rice to Stephen King
• Language and style in Gothic literature
• Gothic imagery, Gothic bodies and Gothic monsters
• Dracula on film and stage
• Dracula and Gothic motifs in cartoons and comics
• Gothic fiction and the struggles between “high” and “popular” culture
• Satirizing the Gothic: parody and humor
• Transgressive sexuality in vampire fiction
• Post-colonial perspectives on the vampire legend: from Nalo Hopkinson to Tananarive Due
• Feminist reworkings of vampire fiction
• Vampirism and the teenage vampire craze of the 21st century
Abstracts of 250-300 words, including full title of paper, name of speaker, institutional affiliation and position, a bio-sketch and contact details (postal address and e-mail address), should be sent as Word attachments to Prof. Isabel Ermida at email@example.com. E-mails should be titled: “Colloquium on the Gothic”.
• Deadline for submission of proposals: 15 April 2012
• Notification of acceptance: 30 April 2012
• Registration: 1 May 2012 – 31 May 2012
• Registration fees: Delegates: 60 euros /Students: 20 euros
• Late registration (1 June–15 June 2012): Delegates: 80 euros / Students: 25 euros
Please note: Delegates failing to register before the deadline cannot be included in the programme.
• Isabel Ermida (Chair)
• Anabela Rato
• Amélia Carvalho
• Jaime Costa
• Salomé Osório
This International Colloquium is hosted by DEINA (Department of English and North-American Studies) and supported by CEHUM (Center for Humanistic Studies) and ILCH (Institute of Arts and Humanities) of the University of Minho at Braga, Portugal.
All speakers are responsible for their own travel arrangements and accommodation. Relevant information about hotels and transportation from the nearest airport (Oporto) is provided on the colloquium website.
Updated information at: http://sites.google.com/site/laipax/.