Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Ph.D. in English

First Advisor

Leigh Anne Duck

Second Advisor

Deborah Barker

Third Advisor

Jamie Harker

Relational Format



The Meat of the Gothic: Animality and Social Justice in United States Fiction and Film of the Twenty-First Century— situates twenty-first century US gothic narratives in relation to animal studies, even as it illuminates how these narratives interrogate the effects of historic and ongoing global systems of human oppression: slavery, imperialism, and capitalism. Instead of reacting to bias by asserting a claim to a humanity perpetually imbricated in divisions of class, race, and gender, present-day authors and filmmakers create characters who form communities that include nonhuman actors as a means of generating empowerment and critique. My approach to these narratives is informed by formal analysis; posthuman, ecofeminist, and postcolonial theoretical frameworks; and archival findings, which enable me to position contemporary gothic works in a tradition of activism around issues of citizenship.

Available for download on Thursday, December 14, 2023