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Title: Frankenfiction : monstrous adaptations and Gothic histories in twenty-first-century remix culture
Author: De Bruin-Molé, Megen
ISNI:       0000 0004 6495 9034
Awarding Body: Cardiff University
Current Institution: Cardiff University
Date of Award: 2017
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In the twenty-first century, the remix, the mashup, and the reboot have come to dominate Western popular culture. Consumed by popular audiences on an unprecedented scale, but often derided by critics and academics, these texts are the ‘monsters’ of our age—hybrid creations that lurk at the limits of responsible consumption and acceptable appropriation. Like monsters, they offer audiences the thrill of transgression in a safe and familiar format, mainstreaming the self-reflexive irony and cultural iconoclasm of postmodern art. Like other popular texts before them, remixes, mashups, and reboots are often read by critics as a sign of the artistic and moral degeneration of contemporary culture. This is especially true within the institutions such remixes seem to attack most directly: the heritage industry, high art, adaptation studies, and copyright law. With this context in mind, in this thesis I explore the boundaries and connections between remix culture and its ‘others’ (adaptation, parody, the Gothic, Romanticism, postmodernism), asking how strong or tenuous they are in practice. I do so by examining remix culture’s most ‘monstrous’ texts: Frankenfictions, or commercial narratives that insert fantastical monsters (zombies, vampires, werewolves, etc.) into classic literature and popular historical contexts. Frankenfiction is monstrous not only because of the fantastical monsters it contains, but because of its place at the margins of both remix and more established modes of appropriation. Too engaged with tradition for some, and not traditional enough for others, Frankenfiction is a bestselling genre that nevertheless remains peripheral to academic discussion. This thesis aims to address that gap in scholarship, analysing Frankenfiction’s engagement with monstrosity (chapter one), parody (chapter two), popular historiography (chapter three), and models of authorial originality (chapter four). Throughout this analysis, Mary Shelley’s 1818 novel Frankenstein remains a touchstone, serving as an ideal metaphor for the nature of contemporary remix culture.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: PN Literature (General) ; PN0080 Criticism ; PN0441 Literary History ; PR English literature