Tropical Gothic: arts, humanities and social sciences

Anita Lundberg, Katarzyna Ancuta, Agnieszka Stasiewicz-Bieńkowska


The Gothic is undergoing a pronounced resurgence in academic and popular cultures. Propelled by fears associated with massive social transformations produced by globalisation, the neoliberal order and environmental uncertainty – tropes of the Gothic resonate. The gothic allows us to delve into the unknown, the liminal, the unseen; into hidden histories and feelings. It calls up unspoken truths and secret desires.

In the tropics, the gothic manifests in specific ways according to spaces, places, cultures and their encounters. Within the fraught geographies and histories of colonisation and aggression that have been especially acute across the tropical regions of the world, the tropical gothic engages with orientalism and postcolonialism. The tropics, as the region of the greatest biodiversity in the world, is under enormous stress, hence tropical gothic also engages with gothic ecocriticism, senses of space, landscape and place. Globalisation and neoliberalism likewise impact the tropics, and the gothic imagery of these ‘vampiric’ capitalist forces – which impinge upon the livelihoods, traditions and the very survival of peoples of the tropics – is explored through urban gothic, popular culture, posthumanism and queer theory.

As the papers in this special issue demonstrate, a gothic sensibility enables humans to respond to the seemingly dark, nebulous forces that threaten existence. These papers engage with specific instances of Tropical Gothic in West Africa, the Caribbean, Latin America, Southeast Asia, northern Australia, and the American Deep South.


Tropical Gothic; globalisation; colonialism; vampiric capitalism; gothic ecocriticsim; urban gothic; cultural history; cultural anthropology

Full Text:



Byron, G. (2008). “‘Where Meaning Collapses’: Tunku Halim’s Dark Demon Rising as Global Gothic.” In A.H.S. Ng (Ed). Asian Gothic (pp. 19-31). Jefferson NC & London: McFarland.

de Sá, D.S. (2010). Tropical Gothic. Rome, Italy: Arachne.

Edwards, J.D. & Vasconcelos, S.G. (2016). Tropical Gothic in Literature and Culture: The Americas. New York, NY & Oxon, UK: Routledge.

Höglund, J. (2016). Consuming the Tropics: The Tropical Zombie Re-eviscerated in Dead Island. In J.D. Edwards & S.G.T. Vasconcelos (Eds). Tropical Gothic in Literature and Culture: The Americas (pp.87-102). New York, NY & Oxon, UK: Routledge.

Lundberg, A. & Geerlings, L. (2017). Tropical Liminal: Urban Vampires & Other Blood-Sucking Monstrosities. eTropic: electronic journal of studies in the tropics 16 (1), 1-4.

Menadue, C.B. (2017). Trysts Tropiques: The Torrid Jungles of Science Fiction. eTropic: electronic journal of studies in the tropics 16 (1), 125-140.

Ng, A.H.S. (2008). “Introduction: The Gothic Visage of Asian Narratives.” In A.H.S. Ng (Ed). Asian Gothic (pp. 1-15). Jefferson NC & London: McFarland.

Stasiewicz-Bieńkowska, A. (2017). Exotic Otherlands, Headquarters of Death: Sub-tropical land- and cityscapes in The Southern Vampire Mysteries. eTropic: electronic journal of studies in the tropics 16(1), 18-20. DOI:



  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c) 2019 eTropic: electronic journal of studies in the tropics