Michelle Brittany and Nicholas Diak’s Horror Literature from Gothic to Postmodern: Critical Essays


  • Hogan D. Schaak


Horror Literature from Gothic to Postmodern is a collection of essays which began as conference papers from the 2017 and 2018 meetings of the Anne Radcliffe Academic Conference. The editors, Brittany Michelle and Nicholas Diak, are both creative writers and editors for McFarland who co-host the conference. The book includes essays on horror literature ranging from early British Gothic to contemporary postmodern horror. As Lisa Morton’s foreword makes clear, the book is meant to answer questions such as what horror literature’s ancestral line is and which major works of Gothic led to horror (1). This is all framed as an attempt to justify the academic study of horror. Morton ties horror to genre studies more broadly, citing Daniel Chandler’s argument that genre studies reveal cultural values when examined in their contexts—a commonplace argument in Gothic and horror studies since at least Teresa A. Goddu’s 1997 book Gothic America. It is a bit odd that this book takes such a broad focus, especially considering that horror studies is already a well-established field.