Keynote Speaker – Professor Justin D Edwards

Our second keynote address will be Blobs and Things: Gothic Beings Out of Time given by Professor Justin D Edwards.


Professor Justin D Edwards

Justin is Chair of English at the University of Surrey. He is the author or co-author of several books, including Grotesque (2013) Mobility at Large (2012), Postcolonial Literature (2008), Gothic Canada: Reading the Spectre of a National Literature (2005), Gothic Passages: Racial Ambiguity and the American Gothic (2003) and Exotic Journeys: Exploring the Erotics of U.S. Travel Literature (2001). He is also the coeditor of Other Routes: 1500 Years of African and Asian Travel Writing (2006), Downtown Canada: Writing Canadian Cities (2005), Postcolonial Travel Writing: Critical Explorations (2010), Pop Goth: Gothic in Contemporary Literature and Popular Culture (2012) Technologies of the Gothic in Literature and Culture (2015).

In his talk he will explore Gothic and time in American B-movies from the 1950s that include frightening figures that resist classification. Films such as, among others, The Blob (1958), It! The Terror from Beyond Space (1958) and It Came from Outer Space (1953) use the illusive nouns and pronouns ‘it’, ‘thing’, ‘they’ or ‘them’ to signal a nameless and unknown terror that resists the articulation and categorization that would place ‘them’ in the ‘order of things’. This unnamable figure of monstrosity is the harbinger of category crisis because its liminality refuses easy compartmentalization and demands a radical rethinking of boundary and normality. The ‘thing’ challenges stable borders in a way that is all too fearsome and horrific; ‘it’ cannot be ‘managed’ in the rational processes of logical classification within a Western phenomenology. The terrifying thing cannot be put into words. It haunts the darkest corners of human subjectivity and language. It foreshadows homeland insecurity under the nuclear threat of the Cold War. And it is, among other things, the fear of the unknown, mysterious ‘alien’ who threatens to destabilize a white middle-class way of life in the U.S.

To find out more about Justin and his research, visit his profile at the University of Surrey or follow the School of English and Languages, University of Surrey on twitter.

You can read about our other keynote speakers Dr Xavier Aldana Reyes and Dr Tracy Fahey by clicking the links.

One thought on “Keynote Speaker – Professor Justin D Edwards

  1. Pingback: Keynote Speaker – Dr Tracy Fahey | Temporal Discombobulations

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