Photo of Dr Simon Marsden

Dr Simon Marsden BA, MA, PhD (Lancaster)

Senior Lecturer English

About

Personal Statement

I joined the department in 2012, having taught previously at Lancaster, Cumbria and Manchester Metropolitan universities. My research focuses on intersections of literature and theology in literature from the Romantic era to the present, with a particular emphasis on the Gothic. I have written extensively on the work of the Bronte sisters, including a monograph, 'Emily Bronte and the Religious Imagination', published by Bloomsbury in 2014. I am particularly interested in the ways in which literary texts incorporate, inform and challenge theological concepts, and in the ways in which both literature and theology disrupt clear distinctions between the sacred and the secular.

I have recently completed a study of theological themes in post-1970 Gothic and horror fiction. Through readings of texts by writers including Stephen King, William Peter Blatty, Justin Cronin and Joyce Carol Oates, I argue that contemporary Gothic texts reflect and illuminate the theological 'turn' in postmodern culture that has been identified by theorists such as Zygmunt Bauman. Drawing on the interest in spectrality that is common to Gothic writers and contemporary theologians, I explore ways in which Gothic writers register the cultural return and reinterpretation of religious images, concepts and iconography. My monograph, 'The Theological Turn in Contemporary Gothic Fiction', was published by Palgrave in 2018.

I am interested in supervising postgraduate research in literature and religion, nineteenth-century literature, and the Gothic.