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Scholars Day: April 15, 2009

Kant and Gothic Fiction: Exploring Resistance to Principles of Coherence Theory

Often the role of theory has been to explain the circumstances within literary movements and in texts themselves. However, this direction can be reversed. Literature is not merely the passive battleground of theory, but a voice among the debate all its own. So it is my purpose here to show what Gothic fiction has to say about theory; and, in specific, to show evidence of an implicit critique within the Gothic genre concerning Kantian coherence theory. Just as Kantian transcendentalism responds to empiricism and rationalism by arguing that their foundational principles fail, my aim in this paper is to show that Gothic fiction resists Kantís notions of the noumenal realm, phenomenal coherence, and the nature of the human mind.

Presenters: Melissa Broderick (Undergraduate Student)
Anthony Cirilla (Graduate Student)
Topic: English
Location: 216 Hartwell
Time: 11:05 am (Session II)

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