Hi, I’m Evan. I’m a PhD student at the University of Reading in the UK, working in the English Literature department on an interdisciplinary thesis looking at representations of monstrosity in the Gothic. My thesis explores the idea of embodied identity in just over 200 years of gothic literature and narrative art – including film, radio, theatre etc. I am, like an archaeologist, sinking trenches at interesting points, and digging deep into the landscape. I draw on disability studies, queer theory, and cultural constructions of gender to unpick what we mean by ‘normativity’, and why we label certain bodies and behaviours monstrous, and how this might change over time.
When not writing my thesis, I am developing two side-projects which enable me to blend my hobbies and my studies. The first project is Historical Squee – in which I am attempting to build a history of (mostly female) fan practice and fandoms. I am a big nerdy fan of many things, and this will be one of the things I want to discuss on Twitter during my curation. What is the difference between a scholarly interest and a fannish one? And does it matter?
My other side project is all about superheroes! I write a blog about superheroes and gender over at the Logan Institute for the Study of Superhero Masculinity. I wrote my MA thesis on the X-men and bionormativity, and I think that the embodied difference of the superhero (whether a mutant, a cyborg or an alien) is a great metaphor to engage people to talk about ideas about everything from identity politics to human rights. These topics might well come up this week on Twitter!
To earn my crust, I work part-time at the British Library on the Europeana Sounds project, which you can read more about on their blog and follow on Twitter @EuropeanaSounds. I am also the Project Lead for the Fear, Horror and Terror conference hosted by Inter-disciplianary.net and I am planning 2016’s Call for Papers now! My usual twitter handle is @GothicBodies , where I nerd out about monsters and superheroes, get my lefty political rant on, and talk about cake.