Dr Joan Passey
These are my primary research areas and some insights into past, present, and future projects.
Coasts & Seascapes
Cultural and literary histories of watery spaces
I research coasts and seascapes from the nineteenth century to the present day. I am interested in these as haunted spaces and sites where ecological and colonial anxieties emerge and collide. My second monograph investigates ecocolonialism and the seascape in the Victorian novel and I am beginning a project on the sea as a health environment and the health of the sea in Victorian literature. I am co-leader of the Haunted Shores Network with Jimmy Packham, Emily Alder and Giulia Champion and am currently working on a trade book on the history of the British and the sea.
The culture, history, and literature of Cornwall
My first monograph investigates the representation of Cornwall as a haunted space in literature and culture from 1840 to 1913. I am particularly interested in shipwrecks and wrecking, literary (and dark) tourism, Tintagel in the neomedieval imaginary, and the relationship between the railway and popular fiction. I have edited an anthology on tales about Cornwall for the British Library Tales of the Weird series.
Mid-century idealised femininity and domestic space
I am a leading expert on the work of mid-twentieth-century American author Shirley Jackson. I was invited by Birds Eye View to record an introduction to Shirley Jackson to preface screenings of the biopic Shirley (2020) at 70+ Curzon and independent cinemas, as well as to participate in a live-streamed Q&A to promote the film. I am co-editing a collection of essays on Jackson's short fiction for Bloomsbury with Rob Lloyd and beginning a research project on the monstrous housewife in literature and cinema including Jackson's works.
The Gothic and horror from the eighteenth century to the present
I am fascinated by everything spooky in literature, cinema and culture, with a particular emphasis on the ecogothic, gothic tourism, the queer gothic, the gothic and neoslave narratives, and the works of Ann Radcliffe, Wilkie Collins, and Helen Oyeyemi.