An account of the intersection of the Gothic and the medical imaginations in the Romantic era.
This book demonstrates a little-studied crossover between the Gothic imagination and the medical imagination in the Romantic period. Unafraid to explore the gore and uncertainty typical of medical experimentation, Laura R. Kremmel argues, Gothic novels, short stories, poetry, drama, and chapbooks expanded the possibilities of medical theories by showing what they might look like in a speculative space without limits. In comparing the Gothic’s collection of unsavory tropes to morbid anatomy’s collection of diseased organs, Kremmel shows that the Gothic’s prioritization of fear and gore gives it access to non-normative bodies, shifting medical and narrative agency to bodies considered powerless. Each chapter pairs a familiar gothic trope with a critical medical debate; the result is to give silenced bodies power over their own narratives.
About the Author
Laura R. Kremmel is assistant professor of English at South Dakota School of Mines & Technology.