April 4th 2020 Gothic, Teens and Pop Culture (2000-2020) One-day conference Venue: Reims University TROYES CAMPUS Place du Préau 10 000 Troyes


Convenors: Yannick Bellenger-Morvan and Marine Galiné



“The Gothic has always had links with adolescence,” Glennis Byron and Sharon Deans maintain (Hogle 2014), arguing that the teenage character, whose mind and body are marked by growth and transformation, may be construed as a gothic trope, as a metaphor for disturbance and liminality.

Borrowing from Victorian iconography and gothic literature, Goth subculture(s) emerged in Britain and the USA in the early 1980s, in the latter days of the punk movement. Pervading a variety of cultural productions, from music to fashion and films, Goth and teen culture coalesced in rebellion against the prevailing zeitgeist of the time.

However, in the 21st century, Goth is no longer considered a transgressive subculture, but, rather, as part of mainstream pop culture, especially with the explosion in teen-gothic television. A form of Gothicisation of popular culture seems to have taken place, with the central figure of the vampire, trapped in the forever young body of a teenager or young adult, the – literally – undying image of a tortured individual who struggles to come to terms with his/her new identity.


This one-day conference thus aims to focus on Gothic TV series for teens as much as teens in Gothic TV series from 2000 till today. Its purpose is to address the following issues:

  • Gothic tropes in 21st century popular culture: renewal, rewriting or ‘cashing in’ on over-used motifs? Has the boom of fan culture had an impact on recent Goth pop series?
  • From British literature to American television : cultural and generic transfers/hybridity (teen drama x supernatural horror, the gothic x soap operas).
  • From publications in instalments (journals, “penny dreadfuls”) to TV series: questions of genre, narrative construction of dread, rebranding and marketing (importance of “gothic” label); TV format: series or serial? anthologies? self-contained narratives?
  • “What gothic looks like is increasingly becoming as important as the stories that it tells” (Spooner 2017): the dissemination of the Gothic aesthetic in mainstream TV series: “an anachronistic vestige” or a historical setting that enables a postmodern fiction to replay contemporary concerns (Spooner and McEvoy 2007), in other words, has the “Gothic look” superseded the “gothic story”?



Suggested topics

(Haunted) Houses and (suffering) bodies

Thresholds and liminality

(Monstrous) M/others; deviant motherhood; matriarchy

Goth teens / goth girls

Blood, femininity and the abject

Trauma and womanhood

(Post-)feminist gothic

Clash with authorities

Anxieties about the self

Minorities, race, gender ambiguity

Empowerment and the supernatural

Desire and repression

Gothic romance

Vampires, consumption and capitalism

Hyphenated gothic

Gothic television

Revamping of popular teen gothic TV


Suggested corpus

The Order (Netflix, 2019-)

NOS4A2 (Amazon Prime, 2019-)

Chambers (Netflix, 2019-)

Chilling Adventures of Sabrina (Netflix, 2018-)

The Haunting of Hill House (Netflix, 2018-)

A series of Unfortunate Events (Netflix, 2017-2019)

Shadowhunters (ABC & Netflix, 2016-2019)

Stranger Things (Netflix, 2016-)

Bitten (Syfy, 2014-2016)

American Horror Story (FX, 2011-)

The Vampire Diaries (The CW, 2009-2017)

True Blood (HBO, 2008-2014)

Being Human (UK version: BBC3, 2008-2013; US version: SyFy, 2011-2014)



The language of the one-day conference will be English. A publication following the conference is envisaged.


Communications will last 20 minutes each and will be followed by a discussion.


Please send a 300-word proposal and a short biography to BOTH Yannick Bellenger-Morvan (yannick.bellenger@univ-reims.fr) and Marine Galiné (marine.galine@univ-reims.fr) by Friday November 5th 2019.




EDWARDS Justin D, SOLTYSIK MONNET Agnieszka ed., The Gothic in Contemporary Culture and Popular Culture, Abingdon, Routledge, 2012.

ERMIDA Isabel ed., Dracula and the Gothic in Literature, Pop Culture and the Arts, Boston, Rodopi, 2015.

BYRON Glennis, DEANS Sharon, “Teen Gothic”, in HOGLE Jerrold E. ed., The Cambridge Companion to the Modern Gothic, Cambridge UP, 2014, p. 87-103.

HUGHES Williams, PUNTER David, SMITH Andrew, The Encyclopedia of the Gothic, Wiley Blackwell, 2015.

LOWCZANIN Agnieszka, MALECKA Katarzyna ed., Gothic Peregrinations: The Unexplored and Re-explored Territories, New York, Routledge, 2019.

McEVOY Emma, SPOONER Catherine, The Routledge Companion to Gothic, Abingdon, Routledge, 2007.

PUNTER, David ed., A Companion to the Gothic, Oxford, Blackwell Publishing, 2000.

SPOONER Catherine, Post-Millennial Gothic: Comedy, Romance and the Rise of Happy Gothic, London, Bloomsbury Academic, 2017.

WALLACE Diane, SMITH Andrew ed., The Female Gothic: New Directions, Basingstoke, Palgrave Macmillan, 2009.





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