Dr Catherine Spooner

Reader in Literature and Culture

Research Interests

Catherine Spooner's particular research interests incorporate Gothic literature, film, and popular culture, and fashion and dress in literature, within the broader spectrum of Victorian and contemporary literature and culture.

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.

Catherine has co-edited three books: 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. Monstrous Media/Spectral Subjects: Imaging the Gothic from the Nineteenth Century to the Present, was 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. Finally, Return to Twin Peaks: New Approaches to Materiality, Theory and Genre on Television, co-edited with Jeffrey A. Weinstock, is being published by Palgrave to coincide with the 25th anniversary of the iconic television series in 2015.

Catherine is currently completing an AHRC-funded project entitled Post-Millennial Gothic: Comedy, Romance and the Rise of Happy Gothic, to be published by Bloomsbury in 2017. 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. Arising from this research, Catherine's interest in Gothic fiction for young adults resulted in the public engagement project Beyond Twilight, co-organised with PhD student Chloe Buckley. An event bringing together authors, readers and scholars was held on 27 September 2013, and the project continues as a website and blog.

Catherine has recently contributed to the volumes accompanying three major exhibitions: Gothic: The Dark Heart of Film at the British Film Institute; Terror and Wonder: The Gothic Imagination at the British Library and Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty at the Victoria and Albert Museum.

Catherine's next project will explore the Gothic North, examining the relationship of place, local and regional identity and folklore to Gothic texts set in the north of England, with particular focus on the legacy of the 'Lancashire witches'.

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

Read Catherine's blogs on The Conversation and follow her on Twitter.

Virtual Gothic women
Spooner, C.L. 2016 In: Women and the Gothic. Edinburgh : Edinburgh University Press p. 199-213. 15 p.
Chapter (peer-reviewed)

Return to Twin Peaks: new approaches to materiality, theory, and genre on television
Weinstock, J.A., Spooner, C.L. 18/11/2015 New York : Palgrave Macmillan. 272 p. ISBN: 9781137563842. Electronic ISBN: 9781137556950.
Book

Wrapped in plastic: David Lynch's Material Girls
Spooner, C.L. 18/11/2015 In: Return to Twin Peaks. New York : Palgrave Macmillan p. 105-120. 16 p.
Chapter (peer-reviewed)

A Gothic mind
Spooner, C. 2015 In: Alexander McQueen. London : V&A Publishing p. 140-157. 18 p.
Chapter (peer-reviewed)

Monstrous media/spectral subjects: imaging gothic from the nineteenth century to the present
Spooner, C., Botting, F. 2015 Manchester : Manchester University Press. 175 p. ISBN: 9780719089770.
Book

Twenty-first century Gothic
Spooner, C. 10/2014 In: Terror and wonder. London : British Library p. 180-205. 26 p.
Chapter (peer-reviewed)

Gothic charm school, or, how vampires learned to sparkle
Spooner, C. 12/2013 In: Open graves, open minds. Manchester : Manchester University Press p. 146-164. 19 p.
Chapter (peer-reviewed)

Costuming the outsider in Tim Burton's cinema, or, why a corset is like a codfish
Spooner, C. 7/11/2013 In: The works of Tim Burton. New York : Palgrave Macmillan p. 47-63. 17 p.
Chapter (peer-reviewed)

Costuming Vampires
Spooner, C. 2013 In: Gothic: The Dark Heart of Film. London : BFI Publishing p. 20-21. 2 p.
Chapter (peer-reviewed)

Gothic 1950-present
Spooner, C. 2013 In: The Encyclopedia of the Gothic. Wiley-Blackwell
Entry for encyclopedia/dictionary

Gothic lifestyle
Spooner, C. 2013 In: The gothic world. London : Routledge p. 441-453. 13 p.
Chapter (peer-reviewed)

Masks, Veils and Disguises
Spooner, C. 2013 In: The Encyclopedia of the Gothic. Wiley-Blackwell
Entry for encyclopedia/dictionary

Popular culture
Spooner, C. 2013 In: The Encyclopedia of the Gothic. Wiley-Blackwell
Entry for encyclopedia/dictionary

Technologies
Spooner, C. 2013 In: The Encyclopedia of the Gothic. Wiley-Blackwell
Entry for encyclopedia/dictionary

The Lady is a Vamp: Cruella de Vil and the Cultural Politics of Fur
Spooner, C. 08/2012 In: Fashion Talks. New York : SUNY Press p. 165-178. 14 p.
Chapter (peer-reviewed)

Forget Nu Rave, We’re Into Nu Grave!: Styling Gothic in the Twenty-first Century
Spooner, C. 9/05/2012 In: The Gothic in Contemporary Literature and Culture. London : Routledge p. 182-194. 13 p.
Chapter (peer-reviewed)

Modes of wearing the towel: masculinity, insanity and clothing in Trollope's 'The Turkish Bath'
Spooner, C. 2012 In: Bodies and Things in Nineteenth-Century Literature and Culture. Basingstoke : Palgrave Macmillan p. 66-83. 17 p.
Chapter (peer-reviewed)

Review Article: Glamorising the Gothic
Spooner, C. 05/2011 In: Gothic Studies. 13, 1, p. 95-106. 12 p.
Journal article

Goth Culture
Spooner, C. 2011 In: A New Companion to the Gothic. Oxford : Wiley-Blackwell p. 150-165. 16 p. ISBN: 978-1405198066.
Chapter

Dark looks : an interview with Valerie Steele.
Spooner, C.L. 01/2010 In: Horror Studies. 1, 1, p. 143-160. 18 p.
Journal article

Crime and the gothic.
Spooner, C.L. 2010 In: A Companion to Crime Fiction. Chichester : Wiley-Blackwell p. 245-257. 13 p. ISBN: 978-1405167659.
Chapter

Preface
Spooner, C. 2010
Foreword/postscript

The haunted lecture theatre: ghosts in the Academy in the BBC’s Sea of Souls
Spooner, C.L. 2010 In: Popular ghosts. London : Continuum p. 175-184. 10 p.
Chapter (peer-reviewed)

‘[T]hat eventless realm': Hilary Mantel’s Beyond Black and the Ghosts of the M25.
Spooner, C.L. 2010 In: London gothic : place, space and the gothic imagination. London : Continuum p. 80-90. 11 p.
Chapter (peer-reviewed)

On parasols.
Spooner, C.L. 2009 In: Fleur de Sel: An Installation. Venice and Cumbria : FoldBooks p. 17-23. 7 p. ISBN: 095499602.
Chapter

Contemporary Gothic.
Spooner, C.L. 2008 Seoul : Sammungeok Press. 232 p. ISBN: 9788996131120.
Book

Goth boys in the media : femininity and violence.
Spooner, C.L. 2008 In: A Men's Fashion Reader. New York : Fairchild Books 145 p. ISBN: 9781563675362.
Chapter

Gothic in Contemporary Popular Culture
Spooner, C. 05/2007 In: Gothic Studies. 9, 1, 103 p.
Special issue

Gothic in the twentieth century.
Spooner, C.L. 2007 In: The Routledge Companion to Gothic. London : Routledge p. 38-48. 11 p. ISBN: 9780415398428.
Chapter

The Routledge Companion to Gothic.
Spooner, C.L., McEvoy, E. 2007 Routledge. 304 p. ISBN: 978-0415398435.
Book

Undead fashion: nineties style and the perennial return of goth
Spooner, C.L. 2007 In: Goth: Undead Subculture. Durham and London : Duke University Press p. 143-155. 13 p.
Chapter (peer-reviewed)

‘Spiritual garments': fashioning spirits in Sarah Waters’ Affinity
Spooner, C.L. 2007 In: Styling texts : dress and fashion in literature. Youngstown, New York : Cambria Press p. 351-368. 18 p.
Chapter (peer-reviewed)

Contemporary Gothic.
Spooner, C.L. 2006 Reaktion Books. 175 p. ISBN: 978-1861893017.
Book

Fashioning Gothic Bodies.
Spooner, C.L. 2004 Manchester University Press. 224 p. ISBN: 978-0719064012.
Book

Angela Carter.
Spooner, C.L. 2003 In: The Continuum Encyclopaedia of British Literature. Continuum 2 p.
Entry for encyclopedia/dictionary

Counterculture and literature.
Spooner, C.L. 2003 In: The Continuum Encyclopaedia of British Literature. Continuum 4 p.
Entry for encyclopedia/dictionary

Emma Tennant.
Spooner, C.L. 2003 In: The Continuum Encyclopaedia of British Literature. Continuum 3 p.
Entry for encyclopedia/dictionary

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.
Journal article