South Asian Gothic

Haunted cultures, histories and media

Editor(s) Katarzyna Ancuta,Deimantas Valančiūnas

Language: English

Genre(s): Literary Criticism

Series: Gothic Literary Studies

  • November 2021 · 288 pages ·216x138mm

  • · Hardback - 9781786838001
  • · eBook - pdf - 9781786838018
  • · eBook - epub - 9781786838025

About The Book

This book is the first attempt to theorise South Asian Gothic production as a common cultural landscape, taking into account both the historical perspective and the variety of media texts. The volume consists of fifteen chapters by experts in film, literature and cultural studies of South Asia, representing the diversity of the region and a number of ways in which Gothic manifests in contemporary South Asian cultures. Gothic in South Asia can be read as a distinctive aesthetic, narrative practice, or a process of signification, where conventional Gothic tropes and imagery are assessed anew and global forms are consumed, appropriated, translated, transformed or resisted. The volume investigates South Asian Gothic as a local variety of international Gothic and part of the transnational category of globalgothic, contributing to the ongoing discussion on the need to de-westernise Gothic methodologies and ensure that Gothic scholarship remains relevant in the culturally-diverse modern world.


‘South Asian Gothic is much more than a survey of how the Gothic has developed in a specific geographical region. It sets an agenda for future scholarship through its exposure of unfamiliar but compelling texts, its open-minded approach to the genre across a commendable range of media, and its sensitive response to the vibrant cultures of South Asia. This is an essential text for any scholar engaging with today’s globalgothic.’
-Professor William Hughes, University of Macau
‘This book is a major contribution to the study of globalgothic, dealing as it does in the South Asian context with a vast variety of motifs and narratives, some influenced by Western traditions, others springing from indigenous legendry and folklore, many occupying haunted spaces in between.’
-Professor David Punter, University of Bristol


List of Illustrations
Notes on Contributors
Introduction - Katarzyna Ancuta and Deimantas Valančiūnas
Part I History, Politics and Trauma
1. Places Stained by Time: The Gothic Poetics of State Terror in Dhrubajyoti Bora’s Kalantor Trilogy - Amit R. Baishya
2. Home Is Where the Horror Is: Pakistani Films and Historical Trauma - Kamayani Sharma
3. The Past and the Present: A Reading of Bhooter Bhabishyat - Nishi Pulugurtha
Part II Colonialism, Postcolonialism and Diaspora
4. Search and Subterfuge: The Haunting of the Bengali Bhadralok in Tagore’s ‘The Hungry Stones - Prasanta Bhattacharyya
5. Tracing Terror and the Uncanny in the Gothic Urdu Fiction of Hijab Imtiaz Ali - Shweta Sachdeva Jha
6. Rebecca in India: The Appropriation of European Gothic in Indian Cinema - Deimantas Valančiūnas
7. ‘Khamosh! . . . The Kaptan is going to speak’: Gothic Conventions and Diaspora in Amitav Ghosh’s Sea of Poppies - Shilpa Daithota Bhat
Part III. Spirits, Rituals and Folklore
8. Mysteries in the Air: Modern Bhutan and the Cultural Representations of the Supernatural - Runa Chakraborty Paunksnis
9. No Place for Trespassers: Notes Toward a Himalayan Anthropology of Fright - Davide Torri
10. Monsters of Every Stripe: Navigating the Werebeasts of Indian Horror Cinema - Sarah A. Joshi
11. The Tantric as Gothic Villain: Kapalikas and Aghoris in Medieval and Contemporary Indian Literature - Ira Sarma
Part IV Gothic Media
12. The Making of a Monster: Evil in Hindi Comics - Aditi Sen
13. ‘But Are They All Horrid?’ On the Intermittent Use of the Gothic in Hindi Horror Cinema - Valentina Vitali
14. Detecting Ghosts: Anjaan: Special Crimes Unit as Global Gothic Television - Katarzyna Ancuta
15. ‘Bhoot FM’ and the Gothic Tradition in Bangladesh - Muhammed Shahriar Haque

About the Editor(s)

Author(s): Katarzyna Ancuta

Katarzyna Ancuta is a lecturer at the Faculty of Arts, Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok, Thailand. Her research interests oscillate around the interdisciplinary contexts of contemporary Gothic/Horror, currently with a strong Asian focus.

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Author(s): Deimantas Valančiūnas

Deimantas Valančiūnas is Associate Professor of Film and Popular Cultures of Asia at the Institute of Asian and Transcultural Studies, Vilnius University. His research interests include Indian cinema, postcolonial theory and diaspora studies.

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