Dr Sara Wasson

Reader in Gothic Studies

Research Overview

I have two research concentrations: the Second World War Gothic of the British home front, and twenty-first century Gothic and science fiction. Both strands of my research are concerned with ethical witness in response to individual and collective suffering. My current research projects include a monograph entitled Transplantation Gothic, exploring Gothic and horror fantasies of tissue transfer, and I am Primary Investigator on the AHRC network Translating Chronic Pain, researching literary representations of chronic pain. My work continues to build on my first monograph, Urban Gothic of the Second World War, examining combatants and refugees as spectral figures, liminal and vulnerable.

Placements to Enhance Employability in English, and Motivated vs. Transferable Skills
Oral presentation

Plenary speaker at the international conference Embodying Fantastika. Paper title: ‘Slow Lacerations: Time in Tissue Transfer Fantastika.’
Invited talk

Plenary speaker at the Medical Humanities and the Fantastic international Symposium, Liverpool University. Paper title: ‘Spectrality, Strangeness and Stigmaphilia: Chronic Pain and the Fantastic’.
Invited talk

Invited speaker at Linnaeus University, Sweden, for a workshop on Gothic and the Anthropocene (June 2019). My paper title: ‘An Erotics of Nonhuman Encounter: Caitlín R. Kiernan and Queering the Weird’.
Other

'Translating Chronic Pain', Podcast with pain charity Pain Concern
Other

Interviewed for an article on fan theories, '‘The Impossible Problems and Endless Opportunities of Fan Theories’
Other

Served on the Judging Panel for a poetry competition for the charity Our Minds Leeds.
Other

‘Interrogating Medicine: A Podcast on Humanities and Pain’
Other

Guardian interview. ‘Twilight forever: how superfans kept the vampire critics at bay’
Other

‘“Flash” future? The Potential of Fragments and Short-Form Writing in the project Translating Chronic Pain’
Oral presentation

Transplantation Metaphors and “Future”-Making in State Discourse and Science Fictions Of Vulnerable Donors
Oral presentation

Representing Pain: Narrative and Fragments
Participation in conference

Pain as Fragment, Moment, Glimpse: Flash Illness Writing
Oral presentation

14th Biennial Conference of the International Gothic Association
Participation in conference

Narrative and the Uncanny
Invited talk

Clinical Necropoetics: Cadaveric Donation in Medical Writing
Invited talk

‘Before Narrative’: podcast for the British Medical Journal BMJ Blog.
Other

workshop on writing about pain
Types of Public engagement and outreach - Festival/Exhibition

Led an AHRC-funded Creative Writing Workshop in Manchester
Other

Creative Summit
Participation in workshop, seminar, course

Creative Summit
Participation in workshop, seminar, course

13th Biennial Conference of the International Gothic Association
Participation in conference

Plenary speaker at the University Santiago de Compostela in Spain, international conference The Discourse of Identity II, held by the Faculty of Philology. Paper title: ‘Haunted Selves, Fractured Identities: Writing Chronic Pain in the Gothic Mode’.
Invited talk

Critical Stories: Annual Conference of the Association of Medical Humanities
Participation in conference

Complex Chaos: Temporality in Representations of Chronic Pain
Oral presentation

Gothic and the Biomedical Imaginary
Invited talk

II International Conference: The Discourse of Identity
Participation in conference

Seventh Annual Gothic Postgraduate Conference and Research Training Day
Participation in conference

Plenary speaker. Paper title: ‘The National Work of Ghost Fiction on the Second World War British Home Front’
Invited talk

Bringing Conflict Home_ University of York
Participation in conference

Invited speaker, Manchester Metropolitan University, Centre for Gothic Studies, March 2017. Invited to speak about my research on Gothic and medical humanities. Paper titled: ‘Narrative Disruption: Literature of Chronic Pain’ in the Gothic Mode’.
Invited talk

Collaboration with Museum of London: Perspectives of Destruction
Festival/Exhibition/Concert

International Gothic Association: Allan Lloyd Smith Memorial Prize (Event)
Membership of committee

Recalcitrant Flesh: Organ Transfer and the Struggle for Narrative Control in Text and Film
Oral presentation

Dark Ate the Outlines of the House”: Elizabeth Bowen’s Wartime Fiction and Gender Identity in British Interiors
Oral presentation

‘“Tombstones or Crouching Things”: The Politics of Vampire Fiction on The British World War II Home Front
Oral presentation

Medical Gothic: Organ Harvesting and Medicalised Abjection in Kazuo Ishiguro and Neal Shusterman
Oral presentation

Sentient Ruins and the Ventriloquised Dead: Mervyn Peake’s Wartime Poetry
Oral presentation

‘Crying with Phantom Tongue’: the Politics of Lamentation in Mervyn Peake’s Wartime Poetry’
Oral presentation

‘Nurturing Student Confidence in Teaching Literary and Cultural Theory
Oral presentation

Science Fiction and Contemporary Organ Transplant Practice
Invited talk

Plenary speaker at the international conference Embodying Fantastika (2019). Paper title: ‘Slow Lacerations: Time in Tissue Transfer Fantastika’.
Invited talk

Ghostly Authorities & Vampire Fangs: Myths of Englishness revised in Anna Kavan’s Fiction
Oral presentation

The Twilight Saga and the Pleasures of Spectatorship: The Broken Body and the Shining Body
Oral presentation

‘“Half-Masonry, Half Pain”: Death and Nation in Mervyn Peake’s Poetry of Second World War London
Oral presentation

  • Digital Humanities
  • Gothic and Science Fiction
  • Literature, Science and Medicine