All that Gothic 2: Excess and Exuberance

Country: Poland

City: Lodz

Abstr. due: 01.08.2014

Dates: 09.10.14 — 11.10.14

Area Of Sciences: Philosophy;

Organizing comittee e-mail:

Organizers: Department of British Literature and Culture Department of American Literature and Culture University of Łódź


The Gothic is wildly diverse. It can refer to ecclesiastical architecture, supernatural fiction, cult horror films and a distinctive style of music. It has influenced poets, novelists, painters, musicians, political theorists, social reformers, academics, home décor and fashion. It manifests itself in regional and national diversities. It ruptures borders, defies conventions and ridicules taboos.

Łódź seems an ideal venue for discussions on all things Gothic. This city is post-industrial grandeur with neo-gothic architecture and archetypically Gothic cobbled alleyways. Here the past speaks through dereliction and wistfulness, fresh-glazed modernity overlying cobwebs and broken plaster where cinematic paths lead directly to Polański and Lynch.

The 2014 follow-up to the initial All that Gothic conference, held in Łódź in 2011, aims to capture the evolution of the Gothic, providing accounts of this haunting-to-horrifying cultural mode from its onset to the early years of the twenty-first century, adopting a broad international perspective. Open for inspection under this canopy are such manifestations of the Gothic as popular culture of the sixteenth century (including ballads and revenge tragedy), political theories of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, the rise of the Gothic novel, the Gothic Revival and the influence of Gothic culture on film, music, and fashion today. Among its more modern concerns this interdisciplinary conference will foster new readings of popular Gothic productions over the last few decades.

Topics may include, but are not limited to:

  • from Victorian to contemporary High Street Goth/ic fashion
  • Gothic performance and art festivals
  • Gothic popular fiction from Twilight to Shadow of the Wind
  • Gothic and the silver screen: from Nosferatu to Only Lovers Left Alive
  • such trends and icons as Steampunk, Batman and Lady Gaga,
  • theorizations of popular Gothic monsters (from zombies and vampires to werewolves and ghosts) in an age of terror/ism.

Excess and Exuberance are key words in the 2014 edition of All that Gothic.  In keeping with the conference theme, individual proposals may address:

·       the connections of Gothic fictions to political and industrial revolutions

·       Gothic regional and national diversities

·       Goth/ic manifestations across genres: novel, theatre, poetry, music, Gothic as film and TV

·       nationalism and racism from Europe to America, colonized and post-colonial populations

·       the struggle of "high" with "popular" culture

·       changing attitudes towards human identity, life and death, sanity and madness

Conference Web-Site: