Dr Kevin Corstorphine

Dr Kevin Corstorphine

Lecturer in American Literature

Faculty and Department

  • Faculty of Arts Cultures and Education
  • School of Humanities


  • BA (University of Dundee)
  • MA (University of St Andrews)
  • PhD / DPhil (University of Dundee)


My research into narratives of fear encompasses the genres of gothic, horror, and the weird, and focuses primarily on the interaction between the stories we tell and the way that we perceive the world. My doctoral thesis on haunted houses in American fiction produced a wide range of publications on authors such as Shirley Jackson, Robert Bloch, and Stephen King. My interest in representations of the environment led to a chapter in the landmark collection Ecogothic (2013), examining this mode in the work of Ambrose Bierce, and a forthcoming article on Bierce and Charles Chesnutt in terms of ecogothic and Black ecologies in the United States will appear in Studies in American Fiction (2024). My work on genre fiction can be seen in The Palgrave Handbook to Horror Literature (2018), co-edited with Laura Kremmel, and in many recent publications defining the weird, and the position of horror fiction within the context of US politics and imperialism. I am currently under contract to write a monograph on cults in American gothic horror fiction and working on a Ferens Trust-funded project to acoustically recreate the demolished Scarborough Aquarium for an art installation and educational visits to schools.

I am an editorial board member of the journal Gothic Nature, and regularly peer-review for journals including Gothic Studies, Revenant, and the Irish Journal of Gothic and Horror Studies, and publishers including Palgrave, Routledge, and Bloomsbury. I have also worked with Gale Cengage to produce a bibliographic database on H.P. Lovecraft, and with Oxford Bibliographies on Ambrose Bierce. I am a member of the International Gothic Association (IGA) and the British Association for American Studies (BAAS), presenting conference papers regularly. Recent invited keynotes and panel presentations include 'The House as Haunted Locus' for the PopMeC Association for US Popular Culture Studies (Madrid), and 'Jackson and Folk Horror' for Reading Shirley Jackson in the 21st Century (Trinity College Dublin).

Currently Coordinating: Transformative Texts of American Literature; American Gothic; American Rebels: Reading Twentieth-Century American Counterculture; The Globalization of American Culture

Recent outputs

View more outputs

Book Chapter

Gothic Horror Fiction

Corstorphine, K. (2023). Gothic Horror Fiction. In B. Santin (Ed.), The Cambridge Companion to the Twentieth-Century American Novel and Politics (205-218). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. https://doi.org/10.1017/9781009030274.017

Horror Theory Now : Thinking About Horror

Corstorphine, K. (2023). Horror Theory Now : Thinking About Horror. In S. Bacon (Ed.), Evolution of Horror in the 21st Century (13-26). Lanham, Md.: Rowman & Littlefield

US Imperial Gothic

Corstorphine, K. (in press). US Imperial Gothic. In R. Duncan (Ed.), The Edinburgh Companion to Globalgothic. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press

Weird Fiction in the Twentieth-Century Gothic

Corstorphine, K. (in press). Weird Fiction in the Twentieth-Century Gothic. In S. Ni Fhlainn, & B. M. Murphy (Eds.), Twentieth-Century Gothic: An Edinburgh Companion. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press

Journal Article

The Vanishing South: Race and the Ecogothic in Ambrose Bierce and Charles Chesnutt

Corstorphine, K. (in press). The Vanishing South: Race and the Ecogothic in Ambrose Bierce and Charles Chesnutt. Studies in American Fiction, 49( Special Issue on the Ecogothic),

Research interests

Gothic and horror, particularly haunted houses and representations of space and place, including the ecogothic. American literature and culture, particularly the American weird tradition and intersections of literary and popular culture, including gaming.

Postgraduate supervision

Dr Corstorphine especially welcomes PhD applications from students who would be interested in the following areas: Gothic literature, American Gothic, ecogothic, literature, science, and the supernatural, ‘weird fiction' writers, popular horror fiction and film.

Membership/Fellowship of professional body

Fellow of the Higher Education Academy