Welcome to the online home of Haunted Shores Research Network, dedicated to investigating coasts and littoral space in Gothic, horror, and fantastic multimedia.
What is Haunted Shores?
The Demeter drifts in the fog into Whitby harbour; Melmoth stands on the cliff and laughs at the shipwreck below; the vacationers on Amity Island have a torrid Fourth of July weekend… The coast, the shore, the beach – these unsteady, and unsettling, meeting points between the sea and the land – figure prominently across the gothic, horror, and weird traditions. In the popular imagination, the shoreline may be a site of pleasure and recreation, a limit point of the nation state, a point of departure and return, a key site of industry – but darker currents eddy in these waters, too.
Haunted Shores is a global interdisciplinary research network that seeks to explore the rich literary and cultural history of coastal and littoral spaces in literatures of terror. For centuries our literature, art, and culture have regarded coastlines and shores with both wonder and anxiety, liminal spaces that shape identities and ideologies. From 19th century shipwrecks to 21st CGI kaiju, the constant reappearance of coastal spaces in Gothic texts demonstrates a need for in depth study. The Haunted Shores Network aims to bring together researchers from around the globe, of various disciplines, to facilitate a space for learning and knowledge sharing.
The Network was established in 2020, with a digital symposium in March 2021 that explored the ways in which we can view the gothic as offering a disconcerting counterpart to the beach as a site of leisure culture, both rising to prominence in the late-eighteenth century. Speakers raised questions that went beyond any single nation state, adopting a global perspective to avoid essentialising. The symposium embraced the Blue Humanities and the nautical gothic, whilst encouraging discourses in new directions, paying sustained attention to a very particular gothic geography and its human and nonhuman histories. For information on the symposium, and for any future events, check out our Events page.
If you’d like to learn more about what the Network hopes to achieve, or how to join, then click here.