Dr Emma McEvoy
Senior Lecturer in English Literature
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My interests are in eighteenth-century and contemporary Gothic, Romanticism and theatre.
I was educated at the University of Leeds (BA Hons in English, 1986) and the University of Wales, Cardiff (PhD in English, 1994). Before coming to Westminster, I was employed at Goldsmiths College, University of London, and at the National University of Ireland, Maynooth. I teach a module on Romantic literature as well as an Introduction to Poetry module. My main area of research is in Gothic Studies. I am particularly interested in Gothic of the Romantic period, and in Gothic performance.
The Introduction to Poetry module that I teach introduces first-year students to a variety of poems from different periods and of different forms (eg. the sonnet, the elegy, the ballad). The emphases within the class are on close reading and on understanding the implications of poetic form. The assessments for the module are a short piece of close reading and an essay which compares two poems. Students also have the chance to write and comment on their own poems at the end of the module.
I also teach the third year module Romantic Explorations, which focuses on Romantic responses to a changing world. We look, for example, at poetry and prose dedicated to the cause of the abolition of slavery, at literature inspired by ideas about the Orient, and at texts that respond to archaeological discoveries of the time. The form of assessment is a three thousand word essay, and students are encouraged to consult with me in order to come up with an essay question designed to reflect their own specific interests.
My major research interests are in Romantic writing, the Gothic and theatre. My monograph on Gothic Tourism is published by Palgrave Macmillan. Its main focus is on contemporary Gothic Tourism in England - in such forms as ghost walks, scare attractions and prison museums - but there are also chapters on Gothic tourism in the eighteenth century (at Strawberry Hill) and in the nineteenth (at Madame Tussaud's). The work considers the origins of modern Gothic, in particular the phenomenon of 'performed architectures'. Underpinning the whole volume are investigations of the relation of Gothic tourism to contemporary debates about heritage and history, to the Gothic aesthetic, and to literature, film, folklore, heritage management, arts programming, and the 'edutainment' business.
I am co-editor (with Catherine Spooner) of the Routledge Companion to Gothic (2007), for which I wrote essays on 'Gothic and the Romantics' and 'Contemporary Gothic Theatre'. I have also published on various other topics in Romantic and Gothic studies, writing on Gothic music, for instance.
I am currently working on a project on theatre music in Gothic drama of the Romantic period.