"Exorcizing the Specter of Racial Horror" - The Divulgence of Liminal Identity in Mexican Gothic and Lovecraft Country




Hays, Rebecca L.

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title



This research explores the intersectional identity formation of women of color within the uncanny liminal areas of contemporary Gothic fiction, and how such identity formation disrupts previous Gothic tropes. The Ethno-Gothic and Social Horror narratives of Matt Ruff's Lovecraft Country and Silvia Moreno-Garcia's Mexican Gothic reverse the white-hero, monstrous 'other,' and distressed damsel stereotypes by constructing liminal spaces and places that allow women of color to utilize their intersectional identities to subvert the white supremacy prevalent in traditional Gothic fiction. Examining the two novels, as well as Misha Green's HBO television adaptable of Lovecraft Country through critical race and postcolonial lenses, this thesis explores the identity formation within physical and psychological states of liminality, the use of supernatural as a means of violence against the body of color, and how the female characters successfully navigate their socially constructed identity boundaries through physical movement or a lack thereof.


This item is available only to currently enrolled UTSA students, faculty or staff. To download, navigate to Log In in the top right-hand corner of this screen, then select Log in with my UTSA ID.


Contemporary, Critical Race, Gothic, Gothic fiction, Identity, Liminality, Postcolonial, Postcolonial lenses