1st Edition

Gothic in the Oceanic South Maritime, Marine and Aquatic Uncanny in Southern Waters

Edited By Allison Craven, Diana Sandars Copyright 2024
    224 Pages 12 Color Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This dynamic multidisciplinary collection of essays examines the uncanny, eerie, wondrous, and dreaded dimensions of oceans, seas, waterways, and watery forms of the oceanic South, a haunted global precinct stretching across the Pacific, Southern and Indian Oceans, and around Australasia, Oceania, Aotearoa New Zealand, and South Africa.

    Presenting work from leading scholars, the chapters contend with the contemporary fears and repressions associated with the return of environmental traumas, colonial traumas, and the spectres of the precolonial deep past that resurface in the present. The book examines the manifestations of these Gothic aesthetics and propensities across a range of watery spaces – seas, oceans, waterholes, and swamps – in vessels, ports, shorelines, journeys, strandings, and transformations, in amphibious bodies and the drowned, all of which promote haunted engagement with the materiality of water. This collection renews the interdisciplinary breadth of Gothic criticism and the relevance of Gothic affect and sensibility to understanding the histories and cultures of the oceanic South through an exploration of the rarely considered uncanniness of the oceans, waterways, and aqueous forms of the Southern Hemisphere, haunted by colonial and precolonial imaginings of the Antipodes, the legacies of imperialism, and the “double vision” between Oceanic and settler-colonial epistemologies, and the encroaching menace of climate change. Comprising diverse contributions from screen, literary, and cultural studies, environmental humanities, human geography, and creative practice in ecological sound art, and poetry, the collection examines the uncanny and the sublime in watery fictions and authentic settings of a range of aqueous southern forms – ocean surfaces and depths, haunted shallows and reefs, moist mangroves, moss and lichen, the awesome horror of tidal apocalypse.

    This book will be illuminating reading for students and scholars of cultural studies, postcolonial studies, area studies, and Indigenous studies.

    Introduction – Gothic Tides in the Oceanic South: Uncanny Contradictions and Compulsions, Allison Craven and Diana Sandars 1. Knowing the Uncanny Ocean, Elspeth Probyn 2 “Come in, the Water’s Fine”: The Drowning World of Peter Weir’s The Last Wave (1977), Adrian Danks 3. The Other Alongside: Suburban Mangroves and the Postcolonial Swampy Gothic, Kate Judith 4. Acidification, Annihilation, Extinction: Exploring Environmental Crisis on the Great Barrier Reef through Collaborative Ecological Sound Art, Leah Barclay and Briony Luttrell 5. Hydrocolonial Gothic: Robert Louis Stevenson and Makhanda – A Tale of Northern and Southern Seas, Isabel Hofmeyr 6. Multispecies and Multispirited Seas: Submersion and the Gothic in Two South African Fictions, Charne Lavery 7. The Aquatic Kiwi Gothic: Isolation, Insanity and the Occasional Fisherman, Ian Conrich 8. Northern Rivers Gothic, Ballina: A Seacoast Suite on Sharks, Shipwrecks, and the Sea, Lynda Hawryluk 9. On Mermaids, Disgust and the Gothic Sublime, Sean Cubitt 10 Wayfinding and Finding a Way to Intercultural Storytelling in Moana: Charting Disney’s Gothic in an Oceanic Creation Story, Diana Sandars 11. Vampire Hydrology and Coastal Australian Cinema: Saturation, Sunlight, and Amphibious Beings, Allison Craven.


    Allison Craven is Associate Professor of English and Screen Studies at James Cook University, Australia, where she teaches children’s literature and Gothic fiction. Her research is on global fairy tale and Gothic narrative, and on Australian cinema, and Australian Gothic in literature and film. She is the author of Fairy Tale Interrupted, Feminisms, Masculinities and Wonder Cinema (2017), and Finding Queensland in Australian Cinema: Poetics and Screen Geographies (2016), and her most recent book is the anthology Monstrous Beings and Media Cultures: Folk Monsters, Im/materiality, Regionality (co-edited with Jessica Balanzategui, 2023). She is an editor of Anthem’s Film and Culture series.

    Diana Sandars is an academic in the School of Culture and Communication at the University of Melbourne, Australia, with a teaching specialty in screen, cultural, and Indigenous Studies. Diana has a research focus on the child in, and subject of, screen media and has written on the children of Australian and Hollywood screens. She is a member of the editorial board for Anthem Studies in Writers and Films series, and the author of What a Feeling: The Hollywood Musical After MTV (forthcoming 2024) and co-author of Netflix and the Dark Fantasy of Intergenerational Viewing, Routledge, 2023.