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Stirling research supports British Library Gothic exhibition

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Terror and Wonder image
Copyright: British Library

An English Studies academic at Stirling is involved in a high-profile partnership with the British Library on a new exhibition exploring the gothic genre.

Senior Lecturer Dale Townshend has been working with the British Library in London as an academic advisor, providing research-based guidance to support their new exhibition, Terror and Wonder: The Gothic Imagination.

Featuring 200 rare objects, the exhibition explores the gothic tradition and investigates the impact of the Gothic literary genre across film, art, music, fashion and architecture.

Dale Townshend said: "Working on the exhibition has been extremely rewarding. It is wonderful to see academic research being translated into something that has broader cultural reach and impact and it is great to share an academic passion with a broader, often non-academic public."

"The British Library also only holds a handful of exhibitions a year, so it is a great opportunity for us to work on such a high profile event."

As part of the exhibition, Dale will also be chairing a Gothic Study Day at the British Library on 6 December, which will include a range of presentations by gothic specialists.

Dale’s involvement came about after making contact with Tim Pye, curator of early British Literature at the British Library, who had similar ideas about creating a gothic-themed exhibition.

Dale has had input into the exhibition in a variety of ways. Dale said: "My role has involved working closely with 3 British Library curators: Tim Pye, Tanya Kirk and Greg Buzwell. We devised the structure of the entire exhibition, particularly the chronological approach to the ‘story’ of the Gothic aesthetic in Britain.

"We decided upon the distinct sections of the show and ensured that the major Gothic concerns, texts and writers from the eighteenth century to the present day are represented.

"In addition to contributing to the exhibition's structure and contents, I edited and introduced the book that accompanies the exhibition, and have been involved in a number of public events around the show."

The University of Stirling is an internationally acknowledged centre of excellence for the study of the Gothic. Our MLitt programme, The Gothic Imagination, is a flagship course in the area.

The well-received exhibition opened last month and runs until 20 January. There are a number of associated public events running during the course of the exhibition. For more information, please visit:

Terror and Wonder: The Gothic Imagination

Gothic Study Day – 6 December

The Gothic Imagination at the University of Stirling

David Tripp
Public Relations Officer
01786 466687

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