Elizabeth Parker, founder of Gothic Nature Journal, presented her book The Forest and the EcoGothic: The Deep Dark Woods in the Popular Imagination (Palgrave Macmillan, 2020) on 3 May 2021, 16:00 Central European time. This was the rescheduled talk from December 2020.
This book offers the first full length study on the pervasive archetype of The Gothic Forest in Western culture. The idea of the forest as deep, dark, and dangerous has an extensive history and continues to resonate throughout contemporary popular culture. Parker examines both why we fear the forest and how exactly these fears manifest in our stories. The book draws on and furthers the nascent field of the ecoGothic, which seeks to explore the intersections between ecocriticism and Gothic studies. In the age of the Anthropocene, this work importantly interrogates our relationship to and understandings of the more-than-human world. Parker introduces the trope of the Gothic forest, as well as important critical contexts for its discussion, and examines the three main ways in which this trope manifests: as a living, animated threat; as a traditional habitat for monsters; and as a dangerous site for human settlement. This book will appeal to students and scholars with interests in horror and the Gothic, ecohorror and the ecoGothic, environmentalism, ecocriticism, and popular culture more broadly.