Transplantation Gothic

Tissue transfer in literature, film, and medicine

By Sara Wasson

Transplantation Gothic


  • Hardcover

Book Information

  • Format: eBook
  • ISBN: 978-1-5261-3288-8
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Published Date: October 2020
  • BIC Category: Horror & Ghost Stories, The arts / Film: styles & genres, Literature & literary studies / Literary studies: c 1800 to c 1900, Literary studies: c 1800 to c 1900, PERFORMING ARTS / Film / Genres / General, LITERARY CRITICISM / Modern / 19th Century


Transplantation Gothic is a shadow cultural history of transplantation, as mediated through medical writing, science fiction, life writing and visual arts in a Gothic mode, from the nineteenth-century to the present. The works explore the experience of donor/suppliers, recipients and practitioners, and simultaneously express transfer-related suffering and are complicit in its erasure. Examining texts from Europe, North America and India, the book resists exoticising predatorial tissue economies and considers fantasies of harvest as both product and symbol of structural ruination under neoliberal capitalism. In their efforts to articulate bioengineered hybridity, these works are not only anxious but speculative. The book will be of interest to academics and students researching Gothic studies, science fiction, critical medical humanities and cultural studies of transplantation.


'.a watershed moment in the history of medical Gothic.'
Fantastika Journal

'This book provides a necessary and timely intervention into (re)considering the slow violence(s) wrought upon our own bodies and communities.'
The Polyphony


Allan Lloyd Smith Memorial Prize

British Society for Literature and Science Award


Introduction: bodies dis(re)membered: Gothic and the transplant imaginary
1 Clinical necropoetics: medical and ethics writing of death and transplantation
2 The bioemporium: corporate medical horror in late twentieth century American transfer fiction
3 Clinical labour and slow violence: transnational harvest horror and racial vulnerability at the turn of the millennium
4 Possession? Uncanny assemblage and embodied scripts in tissue recipient horror
5 Scalpel and metaphor: 'machines of social death' and state sanctioned harvest in dystopian fiction
Coda: writing wounds


Sara Wasson is Reader in Gothic Studies at Lancaster University

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