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Invited speaker, Queen Mary, University of London. Paper title: ‘Medical Gothic: Strange Times and Affective Transgression in Illness, Intervention and Aftermath’.

Activity: Talk or presentation typesInvited talk


What can the Gothic--and the fantastic in general--bring to critical medical humanities? In this talk, I will suggest that one answer is that Gothic's intertextualities, tropes, and forms can lend themselves well to exploring strange temporalities and ambiguous affects which sit uneasily within a 'curative' cultural imaginary that expects illness and pain to have neat closures. At the same time, I will draw on disability studies to consider risks in Gothic representation , particularly the dangers of tragedy narrative. I will explore transgressive temporality in life writing of chronic pain, writing of post-transplant aftermath, and the ‘clinical necropoetics’ of medical writing which uses Gothic tropes and forms to navigate ambiguities around the diagnosis of death. In each case, Gothic can be bent to contradictory and ambiguous ends, expressing strange times and complex emotions around pain, medical intervention and aftermath.

External organisation (External collaborations)

NameQueen Mary University of London