Edited by: Mark Taylor, Georgina Downey and Terry Meade
This volume explores the undermining of home. We posit that besiegement is an overlooked state within domestic space. Our inquiry marks a moment of departure from ‘haven’ theories of the home, which have endured a long and lively body of critically formulated theories and histories of domestic space. The book proposal has the support of an international publisher and includes contributors to chapters on infestations via animals, insects and miasmas; deviant forms of occupation and hoarding; and homes reconfigured by war damage.
Our call is for two further contributions to the volume that will explore architectural hauntings; in particular how structural elements of the home, such as walls, cavity spaces, floors and rooves are undermined. How might these hauntings open critical thinking to broader ideas about the home rendered un-liveable?
The foundation of Gothic horror was the idea that the haunted house was a reflection of its inhabitants’ troubled psyches and repressed secrets. Specifically, hidden areas of the home; attic, cellar or crypt correspond with the spaces of the unconscious.
But what happens when the house and its very physical parts and spaces themselves become the actors or agents of terror? A study might focus on the broader uncanniness of the use of ‘architectural wrongness’ in signifying terror; for example the fear of being trapped in confusingly un-mappable interiors, as we see in the so-called ‘impossible’ spaces of the Overlook Hotel in Kubrick’s The Shining. Or the chapter might explore the materiality of ghosts or haunting spirits grounded within particular locales within the home such wall cavities and immurement, windows, doors, underfloor spaces; these are provocations only and not definitive.
- Publication date: 2021
- Please provide a 250 word abstract and short bio by 31 July 2019 to the editors: Contact Details: Dr Georgina Downey: [email protected]
- Final chapter length: 7,000 words not including footnotes. Please title your email Chapter PROPOSAL: ‘Haunting’ for ‘Domesticity under Siege: when home isn’t safe’.