(Hi)stories Within Lovecraft Country
A Half-day Online Symposium
12.00-18.00 BST (0.700-13.00 EST) May 20, 2021
The Centre for the History of the Gothic is delighted to announce that registration is now open for ‘Cults, Cthulus, and Klansmen: The (Hi)stories within Lovecraft Country’. Registration is free and our online symposium will be taking place on zoom, so wherever you are why not join us as we explore and unpack the history, theory, and sociopolitical commentary neatly woven into the series Lovecraft Country.
2020 was a seemingly unprecedented year. A global pandemic erupted even as the US was seized by another wave of anti-Black violence perpetrated by law enforcement and supported by terrifying groups of armed Trump supporters. In the midst of this chaos, Misha Green released the award-winning series Lovecraft Country, based upon the Matt Ruff novel by the same name. The series explores America’s history on interracial, gendered, sexual violence and international violence through the metaphor of encounters with magic-wielding villains and other-worldly creatures. Notably, many of the most impactful and haunting scenes are not those featuring cthulu-like creatures attacking innocents but are rather scenes which recreate a history that is horrifically similar to the nation’s present state. And yet critics nonetheless argued that the show was not “enough like Lovecraft” and failed to replicate his tone and style sufficiently. However, such critiques miss the point: Lovecraft’s sensibilities are exactly what the series seeks to dismantle.
Remaining mindful of the show as a Horror series, ‘Cults, Cthulus, and Klansmen’ will evaluate Green’s manipulations of Gothic and Horror tropes in conveying a powerful and complex critique of contemporary America. The symposium will will include many fantastic talks and panels as well as keynote talks from:
- Linda Addison – Four-time Bram Stoker Award Winner; author of The Four Elements and How To Recognize A Demon Has Become Your Friend among others.
- Maria Hamilton Abegunde – Author of Still Breathing and Learning to Eat the Dead: Juba, USA.
- Kinitra Brooks – Author of Searching for Sycorax: Black Women’s Hauntings of Contemporary Horror and co-editor of Sycorax’s Daughters.
- John Jennings – Co-author and illustrator of Kindred: A Graphic Novel Adaptation and Cosmic Underground: A Grimoire of Black Speculative Discontent.
- Susana Morris – Author of Close Kin and Distant Relatives: The Paradox of Respectability in Black Women’s Literature and co-editor of The Crunk Feminist Collection.
The full schedule and abstracts will be announced shortly, and will be posted on the Centre for the History of the Gothic website where we will also be curating an archive of materials from the symposium. For more details please visit: http://www.sheffieldhistoryofthegothic.group.shef.ac.uk/index.php/histories-within-lovecraft-country/
You can register for the symposium here: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/cults-cthulus-and-klansmen-the-histories-within-lovecraft-country-tickets-150739709529