Men with stakes

Masculinity and the gothic in US television

By Julia Wright

Men with stakes


  • eBook

Book Information

  • Format: Hardcover
  • ISBN: 978-0-7190-9770-6
  • Pages: 200
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Price: £75.00
  • Published Date: January 2016
  • BIC Category: Film and Media, Television, Romanticism, Literary studies: fiction, novelists & prose writers, Gothic, Film history, theory & criticism, LITERARY CRITICISM / Gothic & Romance, PERFORMING ARTS / Television / History & Criticism, The arts / Film theory & criticism


Men with stakes builds on recent discussions of television Gothic by examining the ways in which the Gothic mode is deployed specifically to call into question televisual realism and, with it, conventional depictions of masculinity. Released from the mandate of realism to describe the world as it is supposed to be, television Gothic calls attention to the constructedness of gender - and therefore to the possibility of re-imagining men's agency, authority and the legitimated forms of knowledge with which men are traditionally associated (science in particular). In this context, after an overview of Gothic television's larger history, this study discusses in some depth seven series from the last two decades: American Gothic, Millennium, Angel, Carnivàle, Point Pleasant, Supernatural and American Horror Story.


'For fans and scholars of the series like Supernatural. the book is a delightful exploration into one aspect of what makes these series so resonant.'
Bridget Kies, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Historical Journal of Film, Radio and Television, January 2018


Julia M. Wright is Professor in the Department of English at Dalhousie University


1. Bedevilling paternal discipline: fathers from American Gothic to Point Pleasant
2. Looking for daddy: Carnivàle, Supernatural and Millennium
3. Latchkey hero: the horrors of class in Eric Kripke's Supernatural
4. Gothic foundations: "The Pest House," "Hell House," and "The Murder House"
Conclusion: gothic conspiracy and the eyes of Lara Means
Episodes discussed in detail

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