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The Haunted States of America

Gothic Regionalism in Post-war American Fiction

A study of regional anxiety in postwar Gothic fiction, beyond the red scare.
The Haunted States of America reveals how the red scare exploited regional narrative traditions as it spread across the national imagination. In particular, Cold War anxieties found a welcome home in regional forms of Gothic fiction that already mediated anxieties about threats to local power structures: white supremacy, patriarchy, and colonialism, as well as capitalism. James Morgart argues that postwar Gothic fiction in the United States should be understood through these local anxieties and narratives first, before reading for national resonances. Through a series of localized readings—in the South, the Midwest, New England, New York, and California—Morgart reveals more than a century of regionalized angst behind the twentieth-century American Gothic.

256 pages | 5 1/2 x 8 1/2

Gothic Literary Studies

Literature and Literary Criticism: American and Canadian Literature, General Criticism and Critical Theory

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"Unlike most accounts of 'Cold War Culture,' which scarcely mention the Gothic and emphasize a shared national identity, The Haunted State of America shows us that Gothic fiction was not only alive and well in post-war America, but also that it sustained the nation’s various regional traditions and explored their distinctive problems of race, religion, gender, and ethnicity . . . A ground-breaking and compelling study of American Gothic fiction."

Sanford Schwartz, Pennsylvania State University

Table of Contents

1 ‘The Death of a Culture’: Subversion of Monstrosity in the Southern Gothic
2 Hanging Women on the Hill: Exposure of Patriarchal Conformity in the
New England Gothic
3Haunted Grounds of Healing: Horrors of Normativity and Genocide in
the Gothic Midwest
4New York, New York…: Greed and Abjection in the New York Gothic
5Repressed Ramonas and Braceros: Return of the Oppressed in the
Southern California Gothic
Works Cited

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