Staff Research: Masculinities and Ghost Bodies

The male ghost in Victorian literature: subverting all the norms
(despite being middle class and super white).

In late January Dr Ruth Heholt spoke at a workshop run by the Men and Masculinities in Culture and Society Research Network for their Transnational Masculinities series held at the University of Bristol. 

Ruth gave a talk entitled: ‘In/Visible, Im/Material: the Paradoxical Figure of the Male Phantom in Victorian Ghost Stories’. In the paper, Ruth argues that the ghost bodies of dead white men are the most subversive of all male bodies and that their depiction dismantles all conventional conceptions of manliness.

This paper looked at this most paradoxical of all Victorian figures: the male ghosts of white, middle class men.

The workshop was one of series run by the MMICS research network, which hosts a range of public talks and events concerning masculinity, activism and feminism. Their work, and Dr Heholt's paper, are particularly timely given recent world events, and the seeming rise in sexism and misogyny. 

Ruth Heholt is a Senior Lecturer in English at Falmouth's School of Writing and Journalism. You can follow her on Twitter @ruthheholt