Thursday, 12 May 2016

Trans Gothic in Literature and Culture

New book

TransGothic in Literature and Culture


Introduction Jolene Zigarovich,

Jolene Zigarovich is Assistant Professor in the Department of Languages & Literatures at the University of Northern Iowa, USA.

Part I. Gothic Transgenderism 

1. Transtextuality in the Male Gothic: Beckford, Lewis, Byron Nowell Marshall

2. Transgothic Desire in Charlotte Dacre’s Zofloya Jolene Zigarovich

3. Private Memoirs and Strange Cases: Temporality and Transhistory in Hogg and Stevenson Christopher Nagle

Part II. Gothic Transembodiment

4.Monster Trans: Diffrracting Affect, Reading Rage Harlan Weaver

5. ’We Had Disgraced Ourselves as Englishmen Forever’: Transforming Imperial, Religious, and Cultural Rhetoric in Three fin-de-si├Ęcle Werewolf Tales Ardel Thomas

6. Go to Hell: William Beckford’s Skewed Heaven and Hell Jeremy Chow

Part III. Gothic Transhistoricities, Transmedia, & Transgenres

7. Gothic Gender in Skin Suits, or The (Transgender) Skin I Live In Anson Koch-Rein

8. Gothic Hybridity: The Contemporary Gothic as Transgeneric Mode Xavier Aldana-Reyes

9. The State of Play: Transgressive Caricature and Transnational Enlightenment Ian McCormick
Conclusion Jolene Zigarovich

Further information:



"This book contributes to an emerging field of study and provides new perspectives on the ways in which Gothic literature, visual media, and other cultural forms explicitly engage gender, sexuality, form, and genre. The collection is a forum in which the ideas of several well-respected critics converge, producing a breadth of knowledge and a diversity of subject areas and methodologies. It is concerned with several questions, including: How can we discuss Gothic as a genre that crosses over boundaries constructed by a culture to define and contain gender and sexuality? How do transgender bodies specifically mark or disrupt this boundary crossing? In what ways does the Gothic open up a plural narrative space for transgenre explorations, encounters, and experimentation? With this, the volume’s chapters explore expected categories such as transgenders, transbodies, and transembodiments, but also broader concepts that move through and beyond the limits of gender identity and sexuality, such as transhistories, transpolitics, transmodalities, and transgenres. Illuminating such areas as the appropriation of the trans body in Gothic literature and film, the function of trans rhetorics in memoir, textual markers of transgenderism, and the Gothic’s transgeneric qualities, the chapters offer innovative, but not limited, ways to interpret the Gothic. In addition, the book intersects with but also troubles non-trans feminist and queer readings of the Gothic. Together, these diverse approaches engage the Gothic as a definitively trans subject, and offer new and exciting connections and insights into Gothic, Media, Film, Narrative, and Gender and Sexuality Studies."
  • Hardback: $140.00
    March 31st 2017
    Not yet available
    More information here.

Wednesday, 4 May 2016

Deformity and Ugliness; Preserving Beauty

Victim of War

Ugliness is back in fashion. Recent critical studies include a source book produced in association with Umberto Eco and Stephen Bayley's Ugly: the Aesthetics of Everything (2012).

Researchers will also want to consult books composed in the eighteenth century, such as the following:

 "Deformity is to be considered, not as a total privation of beauty, but as a want of congruity in the parts, or rather an inability in them to answer their natural design; as when one arm or leg is longer than the other; when the back is hunched, when the eyes squint, and such similar defects: which, however, are not to be opposed as a contrast to beauty; for the unfortunate object may, in every other part of his body, be exactly well-made, and perfectly agreeable. 

Whereas ugliness, which I look upon to be proper contrast to beauty, may exist in the human form without deformity; nor can I think the ideas necessarily connected. Ugliness always excites our aversion to the object in which it resides; deformity as generally calls up our commiseration. 

Ugliness seems to consist in the appearance of something malevolent to human nature. The picture of the devil always creates horror and disgust; not from the deformity of either his person our countenance, but from the expression of malice in the latter. 

It is from the countenance that an object is pronounced ugly, though without the least deformity, or even while an exact symmetry is preserved; for it is the expression of the soul that gives the disgust. If this opinion be well founded, it is easier to become beautiful than even to correct deformity."


Hebe; or the Art of Preserving Beauty , and Correcting Deformity; being a Complete Treatise on the Various Defects of the Human Body, with the most approved Methods of Prevention and Cure; and the Preservation of Health and Beauty in general. Including an extensive collection of simple yet efficacious Cosmetic and Medical Recipes (1786)

Want to know more? See