Gothic Studies


Stirling has been a world-leading base for Gothic Studies for the last 30 years. In 2008 a two-year AHRC Networks grant positioned Stirling as a centre for the study of Global Gothic, involving collaboration with academics from USA, Canada, Thailand, Britain, Australia, and Europe to investigate the dynamics of globalisation and modes of cultural production from nations beyond the Anglo-American frame. This network consolidated Stirling’s international standing in the field, and led to a Routledge collection, Gothic Worlds, edited by Glennis Byron and Dale Townshend and Globalgothic, edited by Byron for Manchester University Press. As the Presidents of the International Gothic Association (IGA) acknowledge, ‘Glennis Byron’s AHRC-funded network for the Global Gothic set the agenda for a new attention to Gothic beyond its traditional territories’.

An over-arching strand of Gothic research in the Division concerns the limits and possibilities of the term ‘Gothic’ as a critical and aesthetic category in an international context. Thus John Drakakis’s and Dale Townshend’s Gothic Shakespeares has opened up innovative ground, inspiring interest internationally in early modern and subsequent formations of the Gothic. Likewise, Christine Ferguson’s groundbreaking research on the Victorian occult has led to major outputs such as Determined Spirits: Eugenics, Heredity, and Racial Regeneration in Anglo-American Spiritualist Writing, 1848-1930. Justin D Edwards, Matt Foley and Tim Jones examine Gothic from 18th century to present. Edwards continues to work on a variety of topics such as Pop Goth, B-Movie Gothic and Tropical Gothic. His work on 19th century American Gothic, particularly Gothic Passages: Racial Ambiguity and the American Gothic, intersects with Tim Jones’s major research on U.S. Gothic published in his book The Gothic and the Carnivalesque in American Culture. Foley researches the relationship between modernism and 20th century Gothic, while Ann Davies continues to build on the research published in her book Contemporary Spanish Gothic. By interrogating the boundaries of the ‘Gothic’ alongside a range of dimensions, research at Stirling leads the way in broadening understandings of this important cultural category for academic, public and student audiences.

The Gothic Imagination website, established in 2008 continues to expand, and is now a major research resource, posting reviews and interviews by postgraduate students, academics and writers. It is an interdisciplinary forum for lively discussion and critical debate concerning all manifestations of the Gothic mode, be it historical or as manifested in more modern and contemporary cultural events. In addition to news about the various Gothic programmes and events at Stirling, the site steers and provides information about exciting new developments in Gothic studies around the world. This resource (managed by Timothy Jones) supports current postgraduates, as does the monthly Gothic Reading Group.

Recent conferences include:

Halloween Gothic (2008)

Globalgothic: Technology, Media, Horror (2008)

Global Gothic: Manifestations (2008)

Scottish Gothic, 1764-Present (2010)

Patrick McGrath Symposium (2016)


The MLitt The Gothic Imagination offers an intensive historical, critical and theoretical investigation of this curious cultural phenomenon, from the rise of Gothic in the aesthetic and political discourses of the eighteenth century through to a range of contemporary Gothic manifestations in both literature and film. This course provides you with opportunities to explore the full range of Gothic writing, from its beginnings in the 18th century to the present day. The course caters to aspiring researchers as well as part-time students seeking to deepen their knowledge of the topic. The programme is directed by Justin Edwards. We have a strong track record of securing PhD funding for our students and welcome Masters and PhD applications and enquiries.

PhD Opportunities

Our PhD programme offers supervision in almost all areas of Gothic Studies. Recently completed doctoral dissertations include, among others, the following: 9/11 Gothic, Reading Chernobyl: Psychoanalysis, Deconstruction, Literature, South African Gothic, Zombie Monstrosity in the Postmodern and Posthuman Gothic, French and British Gothics 1789-1821. 

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