Academics Wanted: Chapter Proposals for ‘Werewolves, Wolves and the Gothic

Werewolves, Wolves and the Gothic
Edited by Robert McKay & John Miller (University of Sheffield, UK)

The window blind blew back with the wind that rushed in, and in the aperture of
the broken panes there was the head of a great, gaunt gray wolf (Bram Stoker,
Dracula)

Wolves lope across the gothic imagination. Signs of a pure animality opposed to the
human, they become, in the figure of the werewolf, liminal creatures that move between
the human and the animal: humans in animal form and animals in human form. They are
metonyms of forbidding landscapes, an unsettling howl in the distance; more intimately,
their imposing fangs and gaping mouths threaten a monstrous consumption. The gothic
wolf is singular, anomalous but gothic wolves form a demonic multiplicity, a pack.
Wolves and werewolves function as a site for working out or contesting complex
anxieties of difference: of gender, class, race, space, nation or sexuality; but the
imaginative and ideological uses of wolves also reflect back on the lives of material
animals, long demonized and persecuted in their declining habitats across the world.
Wolves, then, raise unsettling questions about the intersection of the real and the
imaginary, the instability of human identities and the worldliness and political weight of
the Gothic.

We welcome proposals for chapters on any aspect of wolves, werewolves and the Gothic
on page or screen in any historical period for a collection of essays to be submitted to The
University of Wales Press series of Gothic Literary Studies. We are particularly interested
in proposals that seek to read gothic wolves in the context of material histories of (for
example) human/animal relations; environmental development; empire and globalization;
and gender and sexuality.

Please send chapter abstracts of 500 words along with a short biography to Robert
McKay (r.mckay@sheffield.ac.uk) and John Miller (john.miller@sheffield.ac.uk) by July
31st, 2013. Completed essays will be 6500 words in length and will be commissioned in
September 2013 for delivery in the autumn of 2014.
Topics and approaches may include, but are not restricted to:

– Lycanthropy/metamorphosis
– Real and imaginary wolves
– Animal ethics and the anthropomorphic imagination
– Monstrosity
– Fangs, mouths, the oral and the abject
– Lupine presences and gothic spaces
– Wolves and the Postcolonial Gothic
– Captivity/escape
– Wolf to Man – gothic politics from Plautus to Hobbes to Agamben
– Gothic wolves, capital and globalization
– Sublimity
– Natural and unnatural histories
– Wolf packs/lone wolves: multitudes and singularities
– Ecocritical readings
– Zoonosis
– She-wolves, he-wolves and gender criticism
– Wolfish appetite
– Howling and gothic soundscapes
– Queer readings
– Dogs/wolves; ferity/ferocity
– Wolves in sheep’s clothing
– Wolves and psychoanalysis from Freud to Deleuze and Guattari
– Reforming the Gothic: comic (or teen) werewolves

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2 thoughts on “Academics Wanted: Chapter Proposals for ‘Werewolves, Wolves and the Gothic

Add yours

  1. While the full moon is often used in werewolf stories, it was created as a method of creating apprehension in the viewer in the original Wolfman movie of the 40’s, Prior to that, moonlight did not affect werewolves at all.

    With teeth it’s important to note that as the face extends, the human canines move forward and leave a gap, from where the larger teeth descend. Humans lack the larger teeth completely.

    The change is often seen as painful, but this is another stereotype, it need not be. If a creature has adapted for a specific task, why should it feel unpleasant?

    Wolfie!

  2. Those are both interesting points. I’ve always been more in to vampires than werewolves, so I only really have a modern perception of them (mostly from Teen/YA novels). I’ve never questioned the effect of moonlight or the pain in transformation. While the werewolf myth is very much male dominated, it seems like it would suit a female monster better. That’s mostly based on a conference paper I heard last year, which is the extent to which my academic experience of werewolves begins and ends.

    http://www.inter-disciplinary.net/at-the-interface/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/isobelmonpaper.pdf

    Are you thinking about putting in a proposal for the collection? I know a couple of people considering it.

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