Upcoming Talk: “The Gothic Horse”, Macquarie University, 5 March 2020
Do you like ghosts, goblins, and all things gothic? What about horses, horse-riding and all things equestrian? What happens if you put both of those things together? Heads will roll…
On Thursday the 5th March I will be talking about the evolution of the dark, demonic, ghostly horse and rider (yes, the Headless Horseman of Sleepy Hollow fame, along with his ancestors and descendants!) as the first speaker in the Macquarie University Department of English’s 2020 Research Seminar Series.
“Dr Kirstin Mills will be discussing her latest project: the first study of the horse and horsemanship in gothic fiction. Horses were a popular symbol of masculinity in nineteenth-century Europe and America, where the rider’s appropriation of the horse’s body as an extension of his own signalled his masculine dominance over the natural world. Kirstin traces the ways that gothic art and literature engage with this equine symbol in order to expose the gothic potential for terror, brutality, and loss of the human within such close pairing of man and animal. Kirstin suggests that these writers establish the Demonic Horse as a gothic monster that posits human and animal as uncanny doubles to critique the limits of, and reveal the animal potential within, nineteenth-century masculinity. Her talk will focus primarily on the work of Washington Irving and Edgar Allan Poe.”
This talk draws primarily on my recently published chapter ‘Hellish Horses and Monstrous Men: Gothic Horsemanship in Washington Irving and Edgar Allan Poe’ in the wonderful edited collection, Gothic Animals: Uncanny Otherness and the Animal With-Out edited by Ruth Heholt and Melissa Edmundson (Palgrave Macmillan, 2020, pp. 223-240).
TITLE: ‘Hellish Horses and Monstrous Men: The Evolution of the Gothic Horse in the Long Nineteenth Century.’
WHERE: Level 5 Boardroom, Australian Hearing Hub, Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia
WHEN: 1:30-3pm, 5 March 2020
All are welcome to attend, and I would love to hear from you if you’re interested in this work, have noticed demonic horses galloping through gothic fiction, or if your own research overlaps in any way! There will plenty of time for questions and chats after the talk.
Hope to see you there!