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31 October 2022 - 31 October 2022

9:45AM - 5:00PM


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Join us on Halloween for this free online event featuring a spooky series of talks exploring the Nineteenth Century's fascination with horror and the occult.

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Image credit : Science Museums Group- A magic lantern slipping slide entitled 'Graveyard Ghost', made by an unknown artist in the 19th century

There was a cultural fascination with otherworldly entities and the macabre during the nineteenth century. From the publication of horror novels such as Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein (1818) and Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1897), to popular forms of entertainment such as phantasmagoria. Themes such as death, monsters, and supernatural forces were regularly featured in art, literature, architecture, theatre, and even the sciences. The nineteenth century also witnessed the emergence of the modern spiritualist movement and séances. As the sensation surrounding spirit and psychic phenomena blossomed, a new kind of belief in the supernatural spread across the globe. This new form of occultic belief intersected with other long-standing ones, not only in Europe and North America, but also in places such as Asia and Africa. This online workshop hosted by the Centre for Nineteenth-Century Studies International will feature a series of talks that explore some of the ways nineteenth-century people in different cultural contexts engaged with horror, gothic, and occultic topics.     

Programme Outline

Download the full programme here: Beyond the Veil programme


10:00-10:45 (CET): SESSION 1

Chair: Nathan Bossoh, University College London

Speaker: Kazuki Inoue, University of Tokyo

Psychical Research at the Intersection of East and West: Shinrei Kenkyū in Japan from the Late Nineteenth to the Early Twentieth Century                                                           


11:00-11:45 (CET): SESSION 2

Chair: Christine Ferguson, University of Stirling

Speaker: Kirstin Mills, Macquarie University

Lucas Malet’s Occult Gothic at the Victorian Fin de siècle


12:00-12:45 (CET): SESSION 3

Chair: Emma Merkling, The Courtauld Institute of Art

Speaker: Giuliano D’Amico, University of Oslo

Ghosts and Spectrality in Henrik Ibsen’s Early Plays


13:00-14:00 (CET): LUNCH BREAK


14:00-14:45 (CET): SESSION 4

Chair: Christa DiMarco, University of the Arts

Speaker: Julian Strube, University of Vienna

What is “the Occult” and What Does it Mean for Transcultural Perspectives?


15:00-15:45 (CET): SESSION 5

Chair: Kate Oestreich, Coastal Carolina University

Speaker: Emily Vincent, University of Birmingham

“her fund of “spook” is illimitable”: Sensationalising the Gothic in Florence Marryat’s Fin-de-Siècle Supernatural Fiction


16:00-16:45 (CET): SESSION 6

Chair: Efram Sera-Shriar, Durham University

Speaker: Roger Luckhurst, Birkbeck, University of London 

The Ghost Club Assemblage