Led by the Research Councils and their thematic funding schemes, Manchester Metropolitan University is keen to promote a shift from solitary, discipline-specific research within self-contained Research Institutes to collaborative, cross-disciplinary work across Faculties.

The Manchester Centre for Gothic Studies seeks to intensify and expand its academic activities into an interdisciplinary Gothic research cluster that draws on our scholarly strength in this area and provides an inspiring space for innovative forms of collaboration and thought.

A list of the Gothic Centre's members alongside their relevant biographical details and expertise may be found below. Please click on their names to see their institutional profile.

Members of the Centre in alphabetical order and by department:

English and Film

Dr Xavier Aldana Reyes
(Gothic cinema; horror literature; affect; bodies; trans/national Gothic)

Dr Xavier Aldana Reyes is Senior Lecturer in English Literature and Film at Manchester Metropolitan University and a founding member of the Manchester Centre for Gothic Studies. He is the author of Spanish Gothic (2017), Horror Film and Affect (2016) and Body Gothic (2014), and the editor of Horror: A Literary History (2016). Xavier is chief editor of the University of Wales Press’s forthcoming Horror Studies book series, and sits on the editorial boards of Dissections: The Journal of Contemporary Horror, Dark Arts Journal, Fantastika and The Journal of Stephen King Studies. He is currently working on the monograph Gothic Cinema for the Routledge Film Guidebooks series.

Dr Linnie Blake
(politics; American TV and film; American literature)

Dr Linnie Blake is Reader in Gothic Literature and Film in the Department of English. She is founder and Head of the Manchester Centre for Gothic Studies and leads the Gothic pathway on the MA English Studies. Beginning her research career as a specialist in nineteenth to early twentieth century American literature, she now works almost exclusively on contemporary Gothic literature, film and television. Having coined the term ‘Neoliberal Gothic’ she has produced a range of papers and a co-edited collection on the ways in which the Gothic engages with contemporary economics and the ideologies that support it. Historically, she has published widely on topics as various as seventeenth century Puritanism and zombie apocalypticism, Edgar Allan Poe and the Situationist International, Hillbilly Horror and Post 9/11 Republicanism, Japanese and Thai horror cinema and Gothic television drama. She is the author of The Wounds of Nations: Horror Cinema, Historical Trauma and National Identity (Manchester: MUP, 2008) and has co-edited two collections: Digital Horror: Haunted Technologies, Network Panic and the Found Footage Phenomenon – with Xavier Aldana Reyes (London: IB Tauris, 2015) and International Gothic in the Neo-Liberal Age – with Agniezska Soltysik Monnet (MUP: International Gothic Series, 2016).

Dr Rachel Dickinson
(Ruskinian Gothic)

Dr Rachel Dickinson is Principal Lecturer in the Department of Interdisciplinary Studies at Manchester Metropolitan University, where she has taught across the English curriculum from medieval through to twenty-first century literature.  Her approach to the gothic is through Ruskinian Gothic as theorised by Victorian polymath John Ruskin.  His gothic is multidisciplinary, and so is her research, which includes architecture, art, dress, education, life-writing, sustainability and textiles, all framed through Ruskinian Gothic.  She is the author of John Ruskin’s Correspondence with Joan Severn (Legenda/Routledge) and serves on editorial boards, including the Journal of Victorian Culture (OUP).  Passionate about engagement, she is Director of Education for Ruskin’s Guild of St George, regularly gives public lectures and talks on Ruskin, was a judge of the John Ruskin Prize for Art 2017, and is co-ordinator of the Festival of Ruskin in Manchester 2019.

Dr Chloé Germaine Buckley
(children's and YA Fiction; postcolonial Gothic; the Weird; speculative philosophy and Gothic; Gothic games)

Dr Chloé Germaine Buckley is Senior Lecturer in English and Film at Manchester Metropolitan University, where she teaches courses on the Gothic and Children's and Young Adult literature and film. She has diverse research interests within Gothic Studies, specifically in children’s fiction and Gothic games. Her first monograph, Twenty-First-Century Children’s Gothic (Edinburgh University Press) explores children's literature and film, but she has also written on Zombies, Weird Fiction, Postcolonial Gothic, and Witches. She is a member of the Manchester Centre for Gothic Studies and Director of RPG and LARP for the Games Research Network.

Dr Matthew Foley
(Gothic modernism; sonic Gothic; haunting)

Dr Matt Foley is Lecturer in Modern and Contemporary Literature at Manchester Met. He has a broad range of research interests in the fields of modernist and Gothic studies. The author of Haunting Modernisms (Palgrave, 2017), he is currently writing on the acoustics of Gothic literature and on the fiction of Patrick McGrath. As well as being a member of the Manchester Centre for Gothic Studies, he is the administrator of the IGA’s Allan Lloyd Smith Memorial Prizes, and part of the organizing committee for the forthcoming IGA 2018 conference ‘Gothic Hybridities'. He would welcome PhD students keen to work on Gothic modernisms, literary acoustics, the ghost story, or the form and function of haunting in literature more broadly.

Dr Richard Gough Thomas
(William Godwin; education; Romanticism; empathy; roleplaying)

Dr Richard Gough Thomas first came to the department as an outreach student, taking units on the Gothic Studies MA as part of his professional development as an English teacher, later serving as a consultant on the department’s ‘Teaching the Gothic’ event in 2010. In 2015 he completed a PhD on William Godwin’s theory of education and is currently working on a biography of Godwin for Pluto Books, as well as entries for a series of Minerva Press novels for the Cambridge Handbook to the Eighteenth-Century Novel. He is the current Reviews Editor of the journal Dark Arts.

Dr Jonathan Greenaway
(theology and the Gothic; philosophy and critical theory; Marxism and the Gothic)

Dr Jon Greenaway recently gained his PhD from the Manchester Centre for Gothic Studies with a thesis examining the connections between theology and the nineteenth century Gothic novel. He is also the founder and editor of the peer-reviewed journal The Dark Arts Journal, which specialises in providing a publication platform for new and emerging scholars. His research interests are imaginative theology and the gothic in all of its forms, the links between gothic literature and film with politics, as well as Marxist and critical theory. He is currently preparing two books for publication – a monograph on the nineteenth century Gothic and theology, and a second provisionally entitled Gothic Marxism.

Dr Sarah Ilott
(postcolonialism and the Gothic; colonialism; Britishness)

Dr Sarah Ilott is a Lecturer in English Literature and Film at Manchester Metropolitan University. Sarah is a postcolonial scholar specialising in genre fiction and film, particularly comedy and the gothic. She is the author of New Postcolonial British Genres: Shifting the Boundaries (Palgrave, 2015), which includes a chapter on postcolonial gothic set in England, and co-editor of Telling it Slant: Critical Approaches to Helen Oyeyemi (Sussex Academic Press, 2017). She is currently writing book chapters on postcolonial gothic, gothic multiculturalism, and gothic short stories. Her work has been published by The Journal of Commonwealth Literature, The Journal of Postcolonial Writing, and Postcolonial Text, as well as in numerous edited collections in the fields of postcolonial, gothic, and comedy studies. She has acted as external reviewer for Palgrave and Bloomsbury USA, as well as academic journals including The Journal of Commonwealth Literature, The Journal of Postcolonial Writing, Studies in Gothic Fiction, and Luminary. She is interested in supervising doctoral students in the area of postcolonial gothic.

Dr Emma Liggins
(hauntings and ghost stories; supernatural literature; architecture; fin de siècle; servants)

Dr Emma Liggins is a Senior Lecturer in English Literature. Her areas of Gothic interest include representations of the dead body in Victorian fiction, sensation fiction, the supernatural, gender and sexuality, and Victorian and modernist women’s ghost stories, particularly writers such as Margaret Oliphant, Vernon Lee, E. Nesbit, and May Sinclair. She has written introductions for two new editions of Victorian ghost stories by women for Victorian Secrets press: Rhoda Broughton’s Twilight Stories and Charlotte Riddell’s Weird Stories.

Dr Peter Linfield
(forgery; architecture; design; furniture; heraldry)

Dr Peter N. Lindfield is an expert on British eighteenth-century architecture, design, furniture, and aesthetic theory, especially concerning the Gothic Revival. He has published widely on medievalism’s revival in the Georgian period, and Peter’s cognate interests in heraldry, chivalry, ruins, and forgery exist in parallel with the Gothic. His first monograph, Georgian Gothic: Medievalist Architecture, Furniture, and Interiors, 1730–1840 offersa pioneering taxonomic assessment of Gothic design’s evolution from the pioneers of the Gothic Revival, including William Kent, through to the acolytes of Victorian Gothic of A.W.N. Pugin, and Lewis N. Cottingham. Currently he is working on a Leverhulme-funded research project exploring forged antiquarian material culture in the Georgian period, and he is collaborating with colleagues at MMU, Durham, and Queen’s University, Canada, on medievalism, heraldry, and the Gothic country house. Peter was elected a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of London in November 2016.

Dr Angelica Michelis
(food; fin de siècle; crime fiction)

Dr Angelica Michelis is Senior Lecturer in the Department of English. Her research covers a wide range of genres and themes and currently focuses on food and eating in relation to literary and cultural discourses. She is particularly interested in Fin de siècle-Gothic, the relationship between crime fiction and the Gothic and the various links between food/eating narratives and the Gothic (cannibalism, eating disorders and food confessions).

Dr Sorcha Ní Fhlainn
(Gothic & Horror Studies; vampires; cultural history/popular culture; Hollywood cinema)

Dr Sorcha Ní Fhlainn is a Senior Lecturer in Film Studies and American Studies and a founding member of the Manchester Centre for Gothic Studies at Manchester Metropolitan University. Sorcha's work is largely rooted in socio-cultural approaches to Film Studies, Gothic Studies and Popular Culture, with a particular focus on subjective monsters, politics, and the undead. She is the author/editor of numerous publications including Clive Barker: Dark Imaginer (2017, MUP), Our Monstrous (S)Kin (2010) and The Worlds of Back to the Future (2010) and journal articles with Adaptation (OUP) and Horror Studies (Intellect). Sorcha is Reviews Editor for Gothic Studies (MUP)and Co-Editor of Open Screens: The Journal of the British Association of Film, Television and Screen Studies (Open Library of Humanities, 2018 -).Forthcoming monographs include Postmodern Vampires in Film, Fiction, and Popular Culture (late 2018, Palgrave), and an extensive study on the 1980s onscreen. 

Dr Joan Ormrod
(gender; comics; myth/fairytale)

Dr Joan Ormrod is a Senior Lecturer at Manchester Metropolitan University. Her research is in popular culture particularly comics, gender, fantasy and science fiction. Her current research is in romance comics, Wonder Woman and time in comics. She is the founder and editor of The Journal of Graphic Novels and Comics (2010-) and organises The International Conference of Graphic Novels and Comics with colleagues from Manchester Metropolitan University, the University of Dundee and the University of Bournemouth. Her recent publications include edited collections of Routledge’s Superheroes and Identities (2015) and Time Travel in Popular Media (2015). She also published essays on Roger Corman's adaptations of Edgar Allan Poe, vampire fandom and Wonder Woman in edited collections.

Dr Anna Powell
(Deleuze and the Gothic; affect; the Weird)

Dr Anna Powell retired from her post as Reader in English and Film to become an Honorary Research Fellow with the Manchester Centre for Gothic Studies. She also works as a visiting lecturer and external examiner as well as running public study groups and events. Anna is the author of Deleuze and Horror Film, Deleuze, Altered States and Film and co-author of Teaching the Gothic with Andrew Smith and she is a member of Deleuze Studies and Dark Arts editorial boards. She continues to publish a wide range of journal articles and book chapters on Gothic film and literature, its affects and effects. Her most recent research topics include Jan Svankmajer, the Lancashire Witches, The Shining, occult films and HP Lovecraft. Anna enjoys creative writing and is involved with Steampunk culture as researcher and participant.

Dr Hannah Priest
(medieval literature; gender; werewolves)

Dr Hannah Priest is an Associate Lecturer at MMU. Her research focuses on the intersections of sex, violence and monstrosity in medieval and contemporary popular culture. She is the editor of The Female of the Species: Cultural Constructions of Evil, Women and the Feminine (Inter-Disciplinary Press, 2013) and She-Wolf: A Cultural History of Female Werewolves (Manchester University Press, 2015). In 2017, Hannah presented Gothic to Goth, a weekend course at the V&A, and she has previously led seminars at other museum events in Manchester and London. Under the name Hannah Kate, she is an author, editor and radio presenter.

Prof Dale Townshend
(Gothic architecture; Gothic romance; Radcliffe; Romanticism; Horace Walpole)

Professor Dale Townshend is Professor of Gothic Literature in the Centre for Gothic Studies. He has published widely on late eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century Gothic literature. As PI on an AHRC-funded Leadership Fellowship (2015–2017), he has recently completed two books: Writing Britain’s Ruins, co-edited with Michael Carter and Peter Lindfield, and the monograph Gothic Antiquity: History, Romance, and the Architectural Imagination, 1760–1840. His current projects include The Cambridge History of the Gothic, a three-volume collection of essays co-edited with Angela Wright (University of Sheffield) and Catherine Spooner (University of Lancaster) (forthcoming in 2020).  

Dr Catherine Wilcox
(creative writing)

Dr Catherine Wilcox is a Lecturer in Creative Writing in the English department, teaching on the BA and MA/MFA programmes. Her background is in English Literature and Theology, and she is a published novelist and journalist (writing as Catherine Fox). Her works include three adult novels with Hamish Hamilton/Penguin, a sports memoir about judo, newspaper features, blogging and a weekly column-writing. Her recent trilogy of Lindchester novels (published by Marylebone House) is an affectionate tribute to Anthony Trollope’s Barchester, and began life serialised as weekly blogs. Her interest in The Gothic is recent, and springs partly from new developments in her own fiction. Her YA novel Wolf Tide explores Gothic themes. She is also interested in helping bridge the gap between the critical/creative in the English Department, by collaborating with colleagues to foster the writing of contemporary Gothic fiction; and in exploring the new avenues opening up in publishing (blogging, fanfic, ePublishing, print-on-demand, Twitter, Facebook).

Prof Sue Zlosnik
(contemporary Gothic; Gothic women; comic Gothic; Patrick McGrath; Daphne du Maurier)

Prof Sue Zlosnik  is Emeritus Professor in the English Department and Centre for Gothic Studies at Manchester Metropolitan University. She has published extensively on the Gothic, often in collaboration with Avril Horner. Most recently, they co-edited the Edinburgh Companion, Women and the Gothic (2016). Author of the monograph Patrick McGrath (UWP, 2011), Sue Zlosnik has given keynote lectures at symposia on his work in Britain and Europe. She is a former co-president of the IGA and a member of the judging panel for the Allan Lloyd Smith Prize.


Dr Julian Holloway
(psychogeography; hauntings)

Dr Julian Holloway is Senior Lecturer in Human Geography in the Division of Geography and Environmental Management. His work focuses upon religion and spirituality with a particular interest in Fortean and occult topics and their geographical expression. He has published on the New Age and Spiritualist movements, spectrality and haunting, and ghost tourism and walking tours. He is currently interested in the geographical expression of haunting and horror through sound and soundscapes.


Prof Joanna Verran
(infection; pathogens; contamination; disease and the Gothic)

Professor Joanna Verran is Emeritus Professor of Microbiology in the Faculty of Science and Engineering. Her research focuses on the interactions occurring between microorganisms and inert surfaces (for example food contact surfaces, dentures, mobile phones). She is also a National Teaching Fellow, a Principal Fellow of the HEA, and is interested in using apparently unrelated subjects to encourage learning in and communication about microbiology. She set up the Bad Bugs Bookclub in 2009.The book club comprises scientists and non-scientists who discuss novels in which infectious disease forms part of the plot. This led to the consideration of vampires, zombies and werewolves (Twilight novel; World War ZI am Legend, etc) as walking pathogens, enabling exploration of the epidemiology of ‘monster’ outbreaks and those of ‘real’ diseases.

History, Politics and Philosophy

Dr Kathryn Starnes
(politics and international relations)

Dr Kathryn Starnes is a Lecturer in Politics and International Relations at Manchester Metropolitan University, where she teaches on International Relations theory, politics and the arts, global security, and the production of knowledge through novels and fiction. Her research interests include the creation of knowledge in folklore, fairy tales and Gothic fiction as a means of exploring challenges to epistemic violence through narrative. Her first monograph, Fairy Tales and International Relations (Routledge) explores how fairy tales reflect back onto International Relations disciplining practices within textbooks that have become invisible in their familiarity. Kathryn’s research is at the intersection of international relations work on narrative and popular culture and research in fairy tales and the Gothic.  Her current work explores frame stories and epistolary novels as a means of including the voices of Others in how we write. She would welcome PhD students focusing on Narrative and Aesthetic approaches to international politics.  She is a member of the Popular Culture and World Politics research community and the Gothic Research Cluster.

Gothic Studies