Wednesday, 12 June 2019 at 2:00 pm – Wednesday, 12 June 2019 at 9:30 pm

Detecting Pessimism: Thomas Ligotti and The Weird in an Age of Post-Truth

Symposium organised by the Manchester Centre for Gothic Studies at Manchester Met

Date: Wednesday 12th June 2019

Time: 2pm - 9.30pm, with True Detective monologue screening from 7.30pm - 9.30pm. Tickets for the screening are available here.

Location: 70 Oxford St, Manchester Metropolitan University

Tickets: Free - Available on Eventbrite here: 

The day will include the reading of a new and especially commissioned interview with Ligotti

This free symposium centres on the fiction, theory and impact of the acclaimed American horror fiction writer Thomas Ligotti. Ligotti is increasingly seen as one of the key literary horror and weird fiction writers of recent decades whose works present a unique, bleak and controversial portrayal of both human existence and society. This symposium follows the republication by Penguin of Ligotti’s award-winning non-fiction work The Conspiracy Against the Human Race in 2018 and the recent re-release of his first two volumes of short stories, Songs of a Dead Dreamer and Grimscribe.

Making the most of the expertise at Manchester Metropolitan, the symposium will comprise of two panels with papers delivered by our staff and students on Ligotti and the weird mode, and will include a keynote delivered by weird expert Prof Roger Luckhurst. We will explore the works, philosophy and influence of Ligotti within a diverse range of contexts, from philosophical nihilism and pessimism, weird fiction and horror to his impact on film and television.

An afternoon of thought-provoking and genre-challenging papers will be followed by a wine reception and the launch of the new edition of Conspiracy. The day will culminate with an open floor discussion of a selection of Ligotti-influenced, weird and pessimistic monologues from the first season of True Detective (2014), a screening run in collaboration with Pilot Light TV Festival and Morag Rose (University of Liverpool). Tickets for this will be issued separately and will be available soon.

Do please join us for what promises to be a vibrant day of events that aim to shed light (and an equal measure of darkness) on how the weird engages with contemporary politics and the human condition in an increasingly pessimistic age.


Participants (in alphabetical order): Xavier Aldana Reyes (Man Met), Eleanor Beal (Man Met), Fredrik Blanc (Man Met), Helen Darby (Man Met), Chloé Germaine Buckley (Man Met), Jonathan Greenaway (Man Met), Caitlin Jauncey (Man Met), Roger Luckhurst (Birkbeck College, London), Rachid M’Rabty (Man Met), Sorcha Ní Fhlainn (Man Met), Morag Rose (University of Liverpool), Leonie Rowland (Man Met), Lucy Simpson (Man Met) and Greg Walker (Pilot Light TV festival). Full schedule to be announced soon.

Thanks to ongoing work, No. 70 spaces are considered accessible to visitors with additional access requirements once again. Please contact or ring 0161 247 6740 if you have any additional access requirements and would like any more information.

For more information, please contact:

Lucy Simpson ·

Book Tickets

RAH! - Research in Arts and Humanities