Gothic Optics

"Mr. Mansfield." Double-exposure photograph of stage actor Richard Mansfield as Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
"Mr. Mansfield." Double-exposure photograph of stage actor Richard Mansfield as Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

A couple of weeks ago, I returned from Lancaster, where the International Gothic Association held its Ninth Biannual Conference: Monstrous Media / Spectral Subjects. I couldn’t have found a major conference so perfectly attuned to my interests, and the papers did not disappoint. The shortest route to explaining to friends just what “Gothic Media” might be tends to cut through the flesh-eating-television and killer-cellphone movies we’ve been bombarded with over the past few years, but nineteenth-century technologies were well represented at the conference as well. Continue reading “Gothic Optics”