Gothic/Horror Fiction

As a current English Literature researcher, one of my key areas of work is within the realms of Gothic and Horror Literature. My experience extends across a variety of different cultural historical periods including 20th Century American Gothic Literature and film, early 18th Century British Gothic and mid-20th Century Weird Fiction. My work has also extended into other narrative forms including Comic Books and Film.

My current specialism is in Late 19th to early 20th Century British Gothic Fiction – a time known not only for the rise of a print publishing ‘boom’, but also saw an incredible surplus of creative, popular output within the Gothic genre.

My research particularly focuses on the canonization within this period of specific monstrous figures (i.e. The Vampire, The Werewolf, the Ghost etc) and the tropes associated with them. Using canonical popular texts such as Bram Stoker’s Dracula, M. R. James’s Ghost Stories of an Antiquary and Arthur Conan Doyle’s The Hound of the Baskervilles as case studies, my current research interrogates how such Gothic texts deploy folklore and the folkloresque as a form of discourse within their texts, alongside the various effects that such integration may provide.

I am also deeply interested in the perceived taxonomic transition from ‘Gothic’ to ‘Horror’ Fiction. My current research in this area extends not only to the movement from Gothic to Cosmic Horror (i.e. H.P. Lovecraft) in literature, but also the rise of Horror in cinema (specifically the Universal monster films of the 1930s and 40s).

To promote my research I have spoken at several events, most notably The Transitions 7 Conference at Birkbeck, University of London in 2016, The Folk Horror Conference 2019 at Falmouth University and at the London 19th Century Studies Graduate Seminar in 2020 at Queen Mary University in London. I have also contributed articles to both The London Horror Society [1] and U.S. Studies Online [2].

If you have any questions about my research, or would just simply like to add me to your research network, please feel free to get in touch!

[1] C. J. Thomson, ‘The Truth Behind Dracula in Romania’, The London Horror Society, 2016 <https://londonhorrorsociety.co.uk/truth-behind-dracula-romania/> [accessed 30 May 2020]

[2]Craig Thomson, ”Homo Abominum Americana’: The Cultural Tradition of the Vampire in Snyder and Albuqurque’s American Vampire (2010), U.S. Studies Online: Forum for New Writing, 2017 <https://www.baas.ac.uk/usso/homo-abominum-americana-the-cultural-tradition-of-the-vampire-in-snyder-and-albuquerques-american-vampire-2010/> [accessed 30 May 2020]

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