Dr Kirstin Mills has published her research across several formats, and is currently at work on her first monograph. Recent and forthcoming publications are listed below (expand each item for abstracts and further details). If you wish to contact Kirstin, you can do so here.
‘Frankenstein in Hyperspace: The Gothic Return of Digital Technologies to the Origins of Virtual Space in Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein.’ Global Frankenstein. Ed. Carol Margaret Davison and Marie Mulvey-Roberts. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2018. Forthcoming.
The virtual, hypertextual spaces of twenty-first-century interactive digital media are commonly considered to be uniquely modern phenomena. Adaptations of classic texts into this format are therefore seen as radical departures from the original texts and the experience of reading them. This chapter proposes, however, that the adaptation of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein into the new form of the interactive ‘digital book’ paradoxically marks a return to its central—yet often overlooked—concerns with higher-dimensional (hyper-)space, which Shelley explored both thematically and formally, and which were also involved in nineteenth-century approaches to reading. As well as examining these early forms of virtual space, this chapter proposes that the ‘digital book’ is itself an inherently gothic form that reveals the uncanny potential of new media in the twenty-first century.
‘Dreaming into Hyperspace: The Victorian Spatial Imagination and the Origins of Modern Fantasy in MacDonald and Carroll.’ Informing the Inklings. Ed. M. J. Partridge and Kirstin Jeffrey-Johnson. Winged Lion Press, 2018. Forthcoming.
This chapter is based on a paper originally presented at ‘Informing the Inklings’, the 2014 George MacDonald Society Conference in Oxford, England. It explores the origins of the modern fantasy genre in the Victorian correlation between the space of dreams and the supernatural world, and their exploration of both through the new development of non-Euclidean geometry and its related notions of higher-dimensional space, or hyperspace. Using historicised literary analysis, this chapter identifies crucial turning points in the literary exploration of these ideas in Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass, and George MacDonald’s Phantastes and Lilith. Through their exploration of these new kinds of spaces, this chapter argues, these texts mark the emergence of the secondary worlds associated with the modern fantasy genre.
‘At the Limits of Perception: Liminal Space and the Interrelation of Word and Image in Walpole’s Strawberry Hill, The Castle of Otranto and The Mysterious Mother.’ Image [&] Narrative 18.3 (2017). [Download Article] [Link to complete Issue]
This paper, part of a special issue of Image & Narrative on Horace Walpole, explores the ways that Horace Walpole’s Gothic texts, The Castle of Otranto, The Mysterious Mother, and even the architectural Strawberry Hill, operate within a fascinating nexus of visual and narrative discourse. By analysing the intersections of the verbal and visual within these works, which combine and collide within liminal spaces that figure a threshold state between the supernatural and the subconscious, this paper explores the ways that Walpole’s texts work collectively to interrogate eighteenth-century theories of optics, perception and imagination by positing a slippage between word and image that undermines the human attempt to make sense of the world.
‘Shelley Conference: Kirstin Mills on Mary Shelley and the Landscapes of the Mind.’ Interview with the Keats-Shelley Association of America. February, 2018. [Link to Interview]
Kirstin Mills (Macquarie University) reflects on her Shelley Conference paper: ‘Journeying through the Landscapes of the Mind: the Shelleys, Space, and the Psychological Sciences’. Mills discusses the significance of Mary Shelley’s travel writings after the death of her husband, before looking at what we can learn from Mary’s writings on psychological trauma.
Guest Speaker. ‘The Spoooooky Halloween Show.’ From the Lighthouse, Podcast by the English Department, Macquarie University, 25 October 2017. [Link to Podcast Episode]
“Do you like spoooooky novels? Tv shows? Movies? Podcasts? Why do we like to be scared, anyway? To celebrate Halloween, Stephanie and Jimmy are joined by Dr Kirstin Mills to discuss werewolves, vampires, mermaids, ghosts, witches, and the delicious thrill of terror.”
Guest Speaker. ‘Twenty Years a Slay: A Celebration of Buffy the Vampire Slayer.’ From the Lighthouse, Podcast by the English Department, Macquarie University, 25 October 2017. [Link to Podcast Episode]
“Buffy is the greatest television show of all time. At least, that’s what Stephanie, Dr Kirstin Mills and Dr Lorin Schwarz think. This week, they discuss the enduring appeal of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, the genius of Joss Whedon, and why they can’t get enough of Spike.”
Guest Speaker. ‘Harry Potter and the Silent Intertexts.’ From the Lighthouse, Podcast by the English Department, Macquarie University, 10 May 2017. [Link to Podcast Episode]
“Why is Harry Potter the global sensation that it is, twenty years after the publication of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone? Stephanie and Michelle chat with fantasy expert Dr Kirstin Mills about Harry Potter and the internet, other fantasy literature you should be reading, and why Rowling just can’t seem to let Harry go.”
Read more about Kirstin’s upcoming research projects, and her latest and forthcoming publications on the blog.