Miss Jamie Spears is a final-year PhD student at the University of Sunderland. Her dissertation ‘A Séance Room of One’s Own: Spiritualism, Spectrality and the New Woman in Late-Victorian Supernatural Fiction‘ is an interesting insight in to the sensational and supernatural. Her interests in the Gothic shine through in her extracurricular work too.
As well as helping and giving workshops at the Spectral Visions conferences, Miss Spears was the postgraduate candidate in charge of writing blog posts for October/November. Her contributions relate greatly to her areas of research, manifesting in thought-provoking and interesting pieces. Today, we would like to share them with you.
Her first post was The Evolution of the Female Vampire. Taking a historical approach to the subject, Miss Spears highlights some key inspirations for the female vampire and explores what that means for the tropes we know today. Said exploration covers Lilith, Lamia and Leannán sídhe.
Her second post, The Femme Fatale, is a discussion on everyone’s favourite Gothic threat. Choosing such literary favourites as Lucy Westenra, Carmilla and White Fell, Miss Spears takes a look at the dangers of the New Woman for a Victorian society afraid of change, placing them in direct contrast with the Damsel.
In her final post, Miss Spears spotlights a woman of great note in Victorian history. “I was sent to prove the phenomena and their reality”: The Gothic Madam looks at the infamous Madam Blavatsky. As it says in the post:
If Madame Blavatsky had not lived, Victorian Gothicists would have invented her.
We hope you will show Jamie your support and read her posts. They are well articulates, well researched and truly inspiring to read. We are very proud of her here at Spectral Visions.