This February saw Gothic Valley WI visited by academic and PhD candidate Nadia. She shared with us her experience as a Goth studying The Gothic, which apparently does not an air of added authority within the academic community – a strange prejudice to have, we think!
In order to guide us through the intersection of the literary gothic and fairy tales we focused in on the story of Little Red Riding Hood and examined the roots of werewolf mythology. Tracing our way back from the cautionary tales of wolves, dangerous men, and the embodiment of both in the werewolf, we were led through the gradual ‘infection’ of patriarchal influence which ultimately resulted in the oversexualisation and disempowerment of the Red Riding Hood heroine.
After a few laughs over some of the lower-budget Riding Hood and werewolf films the modern market has had to offer, we chatted about the reclamation of feminine power through the themes of the gothic genre that occur in modern works, citing Nadia’s own PhD research into contemporary novels.
We had some fantastic back and forth discussion and all learned a little something new about the literary gothic, which has different tropes to fairy tales, and the influence these both have on today’s media.