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The Cambridge History of the Gothic The Cambridge History of the Gothic
Volume 3: Gothic in the Twentieth and Twenty-First Centuries
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3.14 - The Gothic in the Age of Neo-Liberalism, 1990‒Present

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  29 July 2021

Catherine Spooner
Affiliation:
Lancaster University
Dale Townshend
Affiliation:
Manchester Metropolitan University
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Summary

Since the 1980s, the ubiquity of Gothic monsters across literary, filmic and televisual media indicates both a widespread need to give form to the amorphous forces that shape our lives under free market capitalism and an eschatological awareness of all that has been lost and destroyed by the dark energies of neoliberal economics. The Neoliberal Gothic, this chapter argues, adopts the conventions of the Gothic mode to indict the perpetrators of global misery while enabling us to think around our investment in the neoliberal status quo and imagine a better way of being in the world. The Neoliberal Gothic becomes, therefore, a means of both seeing and being other-wise, proffering both critique of the present and a roadmap to a future in which our cities do not lie in ruins and we do not feel hunted by dark forces that we have no power to resist. Texts under consideration include the television series: American Horror Story, (2011), Carnivàle (2003–5) and The Strain (2012–17); films Blade (1998) and Land of the Dead (2005); and Justin Cronin’s novels The Passage (2010), The Twelve (2012) and City of Mirrors (2016).

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The Cambridge History of the Gothic
Volume 3: Gothic in the Twentieth and Twenty-First Centuries
, pp. 283 - 301
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2021

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