In the context of the current explosion of interest in Gothic literature and popular culture, this interdisciplinary collection of essays explores for the first time the rich and long-standing relationship between war and the Gothic. Critics have described the global Seven Year’s War as the "crucible" from which the Gothic genre emerged in the eighteenth century. Since then, the Gothic has been a privileged mode for representing violence and extreme emotions and situations. Covering the period from the American Civil War to the War on Terror, this collection examines how the Gothic has provided writers an indispensable toolbox for narrating, critiquing, and representing real and fictional wars. The book also sheds light on the overlap and complicity between Gothic aesthetics and certain aspects of military experience, including the bodily violation and mental dissolution of combat, the dehumanization of "others," psychic numbing, masculinity in crisis, and the subjective experience of trauma and memory. Engaging with popular forms such as young adult literature, gaming, and comic books, as well as literature, film, and visual art, War Gothic provides an important and timely overview of war-themed Gothic art and narrative by respected experts in the field of Gothic Studies. This book makes important contributions to the fields of Gothic Literature, War Literature, Popular Culture, American Studies, and Film, Television & Media.
Table of Contents
Ghosts from the Battlefields: A Short Historical Introduction to the War Gothic Steffen Hantke and Agnieszka Soltysik Monnet Part 1: Cinema 1. "The red thirst is on this nation": Vampiric Hauntings and the American Civil War Leigh M. McLennon 2. Gustav Hasford’s Gothic Poetics of Demystification Agnieszka Soltysik Monnet 3. Haunted Jungles of Horror and Trauma: Elements of the Gothic in Vietnamese and American War Fiction John Armstrong Part 2: Visual Culture 4. Evil Things in Robes of Sorrow: Albert Pinkham Ryder’s War Gothic Jayme Yahr 5. Mastering Nature: War Gothic and the Monstrous Anthropocene Hans Staats Part 3: Cinema 6. Troubled by Memories: The World War II Veteran as a Gothic Figure in William Wyler’s The Best Years of Our Lives (1947) Steffen Hantke 7. Snow Nazis Must Die: Gothic Tropes and Hollywood Genre-fication in Nazisploitation Ben Kooyman 8. "‘Ah, you lose you in there?’: Gothic American Masculinities, Specters of Vietnam and Becoming Monstrous in Southern Comfort Glen Donnar Part 4: Gaming 9. "You Are Not In Control": Spec Ops: The Line and the Banality of War Steven Holmes 10. Virtual War and the Nazi Zombie Gothic in Call of Duty Johan Höglund 11. Beast of America: Revolution and Monstrosity in BioShock Infinite Gwyneth Peaty Part 5: Young Adult Culture 12. Operation Horcrux: Harry Potter’s War Narrative in a Post-9/11 Context Kylee Hartman-Warren 13.The Gothicization of World War II as a Source of Cultural Self-Reflection in Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children and Hollow City Agata Zarzycka 14. Conquering the Frontier Gothic in Red Dawn Karen Renner
Agnieszka Soltysik Monnet is Professor of American Literature and Culture at the University of Lausanne, Switzerland.
Steffen Hantke teaches in the American Culture Program at Sogang University in Seoul, South Korea.