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Catherine Spooner specialises in Gothic literature and culture from the nineteenth century to the present. Her first book, Fashioning Gothic Bodies, examined the relationship between Gothic literature and dress from the French Revolution to Goth subculture. This was followed by Contemporary Gothic, an exploration of contemporary uses of Gothic in literature, film, television, fashion, art and consumer culture. She is currently working on an AHRC-funded research project entitled Post-Millennial Gothic: Comedy, Romance and the Rise of Happy Gothic, to be published by Bloomsbury in 2015.

PhD Supervision Interests

Catherine has previously supervised six Ph.Ds to completion on the following topics:
- Monstrous fathers in contemporary film and fiction (with Sociology);
- Literature of the 1984-5 miners' strike;
- The mutilated body and affect in Gothic drama and film;
- Violent masculinities in contemporary Gothic fiction;
- The language of transformation in Buffy the Vampire Slayer (with Linguistics);
- Catholicism, transnationalism and the Gothic.

She currently has seven Ph.D students working on the following topics:
- Folk devils in contemporary American Gothic and crime fiction;
- Dandies in cult television, 1960s-present;
- New media technologies and hauntings;
- Gothic in contemporary children's fiction;
- Young adult Gothic femininities and contemporary fairy tales;
- Gothic influences on Grunge music (with Music);
- Turkish Gothic.

Catherine also runs the Contemporary Gothic Reading Group, which meets once a fortnight to discuss texts chosen by the participants and is open to all postgraduates and staff across the university. She welcomes Ph.D applications related to any aspect of Gothic literature and culture, or to literature and fashion, and is happy to consider interdisciplinary proposals.

Research Interests

Catherine Spooner specialises in Victorian and contemporary literature and culture, and her particular research interests incorporate Gothic literature, film, and popular culture, and fashion and dress in literature.

Catherine's first book, Fashioning Gothic Bodies, published in 2004 by Manchester University Press, explores the relationship between fashion discourses and constructions of the body in Gothic texts, from the French Revolution to contemporary Goth subculture. It examines the ways in which the bodies represented in Gothic novels and films are influenced by historically specific debates about clothing, from the flimsily-attired heroines of the late eighteenth century, through the lunatics and dandies of the nineteenth century, to the Goths of the late twentieth century.

Her second book, Contemporary Gothic (Reaktion 2006), reflects her continuing interest in the relationship between Gothic and material culture. With discussion ranging from the significance of Gothic images in advertising to the exploitation of Goth style in Buffy the Vampire Slayer, it investigates in a variety of twenty-first century contexts what it means to go 'Gothic Shopping'. Click here for a review of Contemporary Gothic in Art Review, and here for a review in Cultural Sociology. Contemporary Gothic was translated into Korean in 2008.

The Routledge Companion to Gothic, a collection of 26 essays by some of the major researchers in the field, co-edited with Emma McEvoy of the University of Westminster, was published in 2007. Click here for a review in Oscholars.

Catherine is currently working on an AHRC-funded project entitled Post-Millennial Gothic: Comedy, Romance and the Rise of Happy Gothic, to be published by Bloomsbury in 2015. The book will explore such phenomena as the perennial revival of Gothic style on the high street, the advent of the sparkly vampire, and Gothic tourism in Whitby, in relation to developments in twenty-first century subcultures. She is also co-editing two collections of essays inspired by the Ninth Biennial Conference of the International Gothic Association, 'Monstrous Media/Spectral Subjects', July 21-24 2009, which she co-organised with Professor Fred Botting.

Catherine's long-term interests in Gothic and teenage culture have lately resurfaced in the Beyond Twilight project, co-organised with PhD student Chloe Buckley, which seeks to explore Gothic fiction for young adults. An event bringing together authors, readers and scholars was held on 27 September 2013, and the project continues as a website and blog.

Catherine is currently co-president of the International Gothic Association.

Read an interview with Catherine on the University of Stirling's Gothic Imagination website here and her guest blog on the same site here. Follow her tweets at https://twitter.com/LancasterGothic.

Current Teaching

Catherine teaches widely across the fields of Victorian, twentieth- and twenty-first-century literature within the department. She currently convenes the third-year half-unit 'Victorian Gothic' and the MA module 'Contemporary Gothic: Text and Screen'.

Additional Information

Career details

Catherine completed her BA at the University of Oxford, and her MA and Ph.D at Goldsmiths College, the University of London. She has previously worked part-time at Goldsmiths College, and full-time at Falmouth University and the University of Reading, before coming to Lancaster in 2004.

2013

Costuming Vampires

Spooner, C. 2013 Gothic: The Dark Heart of Film. Bell, J. (ed.). London: BFI Publishing, p. 20-21 2 p.

Research output: Contribution in Book/Report/ProceedingsChapter (peer-reviewed)

Costuming the outsider in Tim Burton's cinema, or, why a corset is like a codfish

Spooner, C. 7/11/2013 The works of Tim Burton: margins to mainstream. Weinstock, J. (ed.). New York: Palgrave Macmillan, p. 47-63 17 p.

Research output: Contribution in Book/Report/ProceedingsChapter (peer-reviewed)

Gothic lifestyle

Spooner, C. 2013 The gothic world. Byron, G. & Townshend, D. (eds.). London: Routledge, p. 441-453 13 p.

Research output: Contribution in Book/Report/ProceedingsChapter (peer-reviewed)

Gothic 1950-present

Spooner, C. 2013 The Encyclopedia of the Gothic. Hughes, W., Punter, D. & Smith, A. (eds.). Chichester: Wiley-Blackwell

Research output: Contribution in Book/Report/ProceedingsEntry for encyclopedia/dictionary

Technologies

Spooner, C. 2013 The Encyclopedia of the Gothic. Hughes, W., Punter, D. & Smith, A. (eds.). Chichester: Wiley-Blackwell

Research output: Contribution in Book/Report/ProceedingsEntry for encyclopedia/dictionary

Popular culture

Spooner, C. 2013 The Encyclopedia of the Gothic. Hughes, W., Punter, D. & Smith, A. (eds.). Chichester: Wiley-Blackwell

Research output: Contribution in Book/Report/ProceedingsEntry for encyclopedia/dictionary

Masks, Veils and Disguises

Spooner, C. 2013 The Encyclopedia of the Gothic. Hughes, W., Punter, D. & Smith, A. (eds.). Chichester: Wiley-Blackwell

Research output: Contribution in Book/Report/ProceedingsEntry for encyclopedia/dictionary

Gothic charm school, or, how vampires learned to sparkle

Spooner, C. 12/2013 Open graves, open minds: representations of vampires and the undead from the enlightenment to the present day. George, S. & Hughes, B. (eds.). Manchester: Manchester University Press, p. 146-164 19 p.

Research output: Contribution in Book/Report/ProceedingsChapter (peer-reviewed)

2012

The Lady is a Vamp: Cruella de Vil and the Cultural Politics of Fur

Spooner, C. 08/2012 Fashion Talks: Undressing the Power of Style. Jolles, M. & Tarrant, S. (eds.). New York: SUNY Press, p. 165-178 14 p.

Research output: Contribution in Book/Report/ProceedingsChapter (peer-reviewed)

Forget Nu Rave, We’re Into Nu Grave!: Styling Gothic in the Twenty-first Century

Spooner, C. 9/05/2012 The Gothic in Contemporary Literature and Culture: Pop Goth. Edwards, J. D. & Soltysik Monnet, A. (eds.). London: Routledge, p. 182-194 13 p.

Research output: Contribution in Book/Report/ProceedingsChapter (peer-reviewed)

Modes of wearing the towel: masculinity, insanity and clothing in Trollope's 'The Turkish Bath'

Spooner, C. 2012 Bodies and Things in Nineteenth-Century Literature and Culture. Boehm, K. (ed.). Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, p. 66-83 17 p.

Research output: Contribution in Book/Report/ProceedingsChapter (peer-reviewed)

2011

Goth Culture

Spooner, C. 2011 A New Companion to the Gothic. Punter, D. (ed.). Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell, p. 150-165 16 p.

Research output: Contribution in Book/Report/ProceedingsChapter

Review Article: Glamorising the Gothic

Spooner, C. 05/2011 In: Gothic Studies. 13, 1, p. 95-106 12 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

2010

Preface

Spooner, C. 2010 Twenty-first Century Gothic. Ruddell, C., Cherry, B. & Howell, P. (eds.). Newcastle: Cambridge Scholars Press, p. ix-xii 4 p.

Research output: Contribution in Book/Report/ProceedingsForeword/postscript

Dark looks: an interview with Valerie Steele.

Spooner, C. L. 01/2010 In: Horror Studies. 1, 1, p. 143-160 18 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Crime and the gothic.

Spooner, C. L. 2010 A Companion to Crime Fiction. Rzepka, C. J. & Horsley, L. (eds.). 66 ed. Chichester: Wiley-Blackwell, p. 245-257 13 p. (Blackwell companions to literature and culture)

Research output: Contribution in Book/Report/ProceedingsChapter

The haunted lecture theatre: ghosts in the Academy in the BBC’s Sea of Souls

Spooner, C. L. 2010 Popular ghosts: the haunted spaces of everyday culture. del Pilar Blanco, M. & Peeren, E. (eds.). London: Continuum, p. 175-184 10 p.

Research output: Contribution in Book/Report/ProceedingsChapter (peer-reviewed)

‘[T]hat eventless realm': Hilary Mantel’s Beyond Black and the Ghosts of the M25.

Spooner, C. L. 2010 London gothic: place, space and the gothic imagination. Phillips, L. & Witchard, A. (eds.). London: Continuum, p. 80-90 11 p.

Research output: Contribution in Book/Report/ProceedingsChapter (peer-reviewed)

2009

On parasols.

Spooner, C. L. 2009 Fleur de Sel: An Installation. Messam, S. & Stewart, H. (eds.). Venice and Cumbria: FoldBooks, p. 17-23 7 p.

Research output: Contribution in Book/Report/ProceedingsChapter

2008

Contemporary Gothic.

Spooner, C. L. 2008 Seoul: Sammungeok Press. 232 p.

Research output: Book/Report/ProceedingsBook

Goth boys in the media: femininity and violence.

Spooner, C. L. 2008 A Men's Fashion Reader. Reilly, A. & Cosbey, S. (eds.). New York: Fairchild Books, 145 p.

Research output: Contribution in Book/Report/ProceedingsChapter

2007

Gothic in the twentieth century.

Spooner, C. L. 2007 The Routledge Companion to Gothic. Spooner, C. L. & McEvoy, E. (eds.). London: Routledge, p. 38-48 11 p.

Research output: Contribution in Book/Report/ProceedingsChapter

'Undead Fashion: Nineties Style and the Perennial Return of Goth'.

Spooner, C. L. 2007 Goth: Undead Subculture. Duke University Press, 143 p.

Research output: Contribution in Book/Report/ProceedingsChapter (peer-reviewed)

The Routledge Companion to Gothic.

Spooner, C. L. & McEvoy, E. 2007 Routledge. 304 p.

Research output: Book/Report/ProceedingsBook

‘Spiritual garments': fashioning spirits in Sarah Waters’ Affinity

Spooner, C. L. 2007 Styling texts: dress and fashion in literature. Kuhn, C. & Carlson, C. (eds.). Youngstown, New York: Cambria Press, p. 351-368 18 p.

Research output: Contribution in Book/Report/ProceedingsChapter (peer-reviewed)

Gothic in Contemporary Popular Culture

Spooner, C. (ed.) 05/2007 In: Gothic Studies. 9, 1, p. 1-103 103 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalSpecial issue

2006

Contemporary Gothic.

Spooner, C. L. 2006 Reaktion Books. 175 p.

Research output: Book/Report/ProceedingsBook

2004

Fashioning Gothic Bodies.

Spooner, C. L. 2004 Manchester University Press. 224 p.

Research output: Book/Report/ProceedingsBook

2003

Emma Tennant.

Spooner, C. L. 2003 The Continuum Encyclopaedia of British Literature. Serafin, S. & Grosvenor Myers, V. (eds.). London: Continuum, p. 971-973 3 p.

Research output: Contribution in Book/Report/ProceedingsEntry for encyclopedia/dictionary

Counterculture and literature.

Spooner, C. L. 2003 The Continuum Encyclopaedia of British Literature. Serafin, S. & Grosvenor Myers, V. (eds.). London: Continuum, p. 221-224 4 p.

Research output: Contribution in Book/Report/ProceedingsEntry for encyclopedia/dictionary

Angela Carter.

Spooner, C. L. 2003 The Continuum Encyclopaedia of British Literature. Serafin, S. & Grosvenor Myers, V. (eds.). London: Continuum, p. 167-168 2 p.

Research output: Contribution in Book/Report/ProceedingsEntry for encyclopedia/dictionary

2001

Cosmo-Gothic: the Double and the Single Woman.

Spooner, C. L. 11/2001 In: Women: A Cultural Review. 12, 3, p. 292-305 14 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

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