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Gothica is an interdisciplinary, postgraduate-led reading group interested in the ever-present role of the Gothic in popular fiction and culture. We trace the genre’s origins to afterlives: from the long nineteenth century, to contemporary spectral appearances in fantasy, horror, and science fiction. We meet once per month to discuss some short readings and visual media that explore particular themes, subgenres, or contexts of the Gothic.


For unforeseen circumstances, our session on Performance Gothic has been postponed until next year.

Get in touch if you want to be added to the Gothica mailing list to join our sessions by messaging us on Twitter (@Gothica_UoB) or sending us an email (

Encouraging New Readings

This is a group of PGR students wanting to introduce students to alternative perspectives of well-loved genre canon classics by reading them comparatively alongside lesser-known and contemporary texts.

Identifying and Analysing Genre Tropes

One of the staples of genre analysis is understanding and identifying genre tropes. By recognizing the ways in which author’s situate their texts within popular culture, we encourage students of all levels to begin to historicise their analysis

Deconstructing Aesthetics

The Gothic in the contemporary moment has become a beauty aesthetic. From steampunk through to rock and metal music, the Gothic is still appealing. By discussing why this is, we can understand the present and its social anxieties

“Reading a book is like re-writing it for yourself. You bring to a novel, anything you read, all your experience of the world. You bring your history and you read it in your own terms.”