Conference: The Year of Gothic Women

University of Dundee, 29-31 August 2023

Valperga, by Melanie Bonsey

Call for Papers

The year 2023 marks the bicentenary of both Ann Radcliffe’s death and two major publications for Mary Shelley: the first edition of Valperga and the second edition of Frankenstein,which now bore her name as author. The Gothic Women Project showcases exciting new strands of research on women’s writing in the Gothic mode, focusing on underappreciated texts by major authors as well as works by marginalised figures. Building on our successful online seminar series, this conference brings scholars into conversation with creative writers, artists, and heritage professionals. We aim to examine the different ways in which the Gothic raises questions of self-definition in a time of crisis, to explore the diversity of women’s Gothic writing in the Romantic period, and to celebrate the afterlives and legacies of this work through the centuries. Collectively, we will challenge mainstream narratives, including those of nationhood, gender, sexuality, and race. Our conference is built on the principles of inclusivity, diversity, and accessibility; we are committed to furthering such principles within and beyond the academy.

Plenary Speakers

Professor Eileen M. Hunt (University of Notre Dame)

Dr Maisha Wester (University of Sheffield & Indiana University)

Professor Angela Wright (University of Sheffield)


In honour of Mary Shelley’s early life in Dundee we have created a special “Frankenstein Tour” of the city to complement the conference programme. Other optional events will include a civic reception at Caird Hall, a reception in the Gothic Hall of The McManus Museum and Art Gallery, Gothic-themed performances, and more. The academic programme will include workshops on career development, publishing, and creative practices.


Abstracts, along with up to six keywords, should be emailed to the organisers at before 31 January 2023. We welcome proposals for individual papers (up to 300 words), pre-fabricated panels of no more than three speakers (750 words in total), roundtables involving no more than five speakers (500 words in total), or alternative formats. Topics might include but are not restricted to:

  • Representations and performances of gender and sexuality;
  • Responses to ecological and political crises;
  • National, transnational, racial or cultural identities;
  • Underappreciated texts and marginalised figures;
  • Adaptation, imitation, translation and other forms of textual appropriation;
  • The Gothic and the medical humanities;
  • The presence or impact of women’s Gothic writing in a pedagogical context.

Further Information

Registration will be available by April 2023. Information about travel, accommodation, and the plenary speakers will be found on the website, which will be updated as the conference programme develops: Competitive travel bursaries will be available for Postgraduates and Early Career scholars based in the UK or Ireland. Day rates will be available.

Conference Location

The Dalhousie Building, University of Dundee, Scotland, DD1 5EN

Project team

Daniel Cook, Laura Kirkley, Anna Mercer, Deborah Russell, and Lauren Nixon