Film staff publish on cinema’s Gothic heroines

Cover of Gothic Heroines on Screen

Dr Tamar Jeffers-McDonald, Reader in Film, together with Dr Frances A. Kamm, Associate Lecturer in Film, have just edited a collection entitled Gothic Heroines on Screen (Routledge, 2019), which will be published in May.

Gothic Heroines on Screen explores the translation of the literary Gothic heroine on screen, the potential consequences of these adaptations, and contemporary interpretations of the form.

Each chapter illuminates the significance of this moving image mediation, relating its screen topics to their various historical, social, and geographical moments of production, while maintaining a focus on the key figure of the investigating woman. Many chapters – perhaps inescapably – delve into the point of adaptation: the Bluebeard story and du Maurier’s Rebecca as two key examples. Moving beyond the Old Dark House that frequently forms both the Gothic heroine’s backdrop and her area of investigation, some chapters examine alternative locations and their impact on the Gothic heroine, some leave behind the marital thriller to explore what happens when the Gothic meets other genres, such as comedy, while others travel away from the usual Anglo-American contexts to European ones.

Throughout the collection, the Gothic heroine’s representation is explored within the medium, which brings together image, movement, and sound, and this technological fact takes on varied significance. What does remain constant, however, is the emphasis on the longevity, significance, and distinctiveness of the Gothic heroine in screen culture.

As well as their introduction, Tamar has contributed a chapter entitled ‘Blueprints from Bluebeard: Charting the Gothic in contemporary film’ and Frances has contributed another entitled ‘The Gothic in Space: Genre, Motherhood and Aliens (1986)’. Lawrence Jackson, Senior Lecturer in Film and Head of Film Practice, has also contributed a chapter entitled ‘Bluebeard in the Cities: The Use of an Urban Setting in Two 21st Century Films’.

The book will be available in May, and you can read further details about it here:

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