Date of Award

Fall 12-11-2020

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts - English



First Advisor

Elizabeth Tasker-Davis

Second Advisor

Kevin West

Third Advisor

Ericka Hoagland

Fourth Advisor

Karol Chandler-Ezell


Lee Edelman’s No Future: Queer Theory and the Death Drive (2004) offers a model for reading queer sexuality and societal place very much in line with that which begins to emerge in early Gothic literature, including Matthew Lewis’s The Monk: A Romance (1796). The Gothic villain aligns with Edelman’s sinthomosexual to illustrate a pattern of victimization and retaliation which results in both the villain and sinthomosexual’s persistent abjection from the social order. However, a close reading of Lewis’s narrative for its depiction of psychological trauma rooted in sexual expression suggests that this queer negativity is not the sum total of the queer experience within the eighteenth century nor contemporary society. With the aid of a selection of prominent queer theorists and gothic scholars, this thesis endeavors to demonstrate the necessity of hope even as discrimination remains a reality.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.



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