Prof. Elana Gomel
My main field of research is narrative theory - the study of storytelling in all its many forms. Narrative is everywhere in our lives, and narratology covers a multitude of subjects: from the Victorian novel to science fiction; from the new media to the cultural perceptions of time and space. My research touches upon all of these subjects, with a particular focus on the intersection between literature and science. Many of my publications explore the genre of science fiction where this intersection is most obvious. But I have also written about the issues of wider cultural significance, such as posthumanism – the philosophical and ethical dimensions of the crisis in humanism – by applying tools of narrative theory to a variety of literary and non-literary texts. My two last books, Narrative Space and Time: Representing Impossible Topologies in Literature (New York: Routledge, 2014) and Science Fiction and the Ethics of Posthumanism: Beyond the Golden Rule (London: Palgrave/Macmillan, 2014) deal with different ways of exploring cultural issues through the lens of narrative theory. Narrative Space and Time is a first of its kind study of the literary representation of “impossible” spaces – topologies that violate the Newtonian-Euclidean paradigm. By analyzing a wide range of both literary and scientific texts, I show that non-Newtonian topologies have long been an important part of the spatial imagination of post/modernity. Multidimensional worlds, double cities, Gothic labyrinths, have been used by writers and scientists alike to articulate revolutionary changes in our understanding of both physical and social space. The book is simultaneously an intervention into narrative theory, offering a new typology of literary spaces, and a cultural history, linking innovations in literary techniques with epistemological and social revolutions. It covers the period from the Victorian era until today and addresses both literary and non-literary texts, engaging such writers as Charles Dickens and H. G. Wells on the one hand, and scientists such as Charles Darwin, Albert Einstein, Hermann Minkowski, and Lee Smolin on the other. Science Fiction and the Ethics of Posthumanism: Beyond the Golden Rule addresses the representation of subjectivity in the era of posthumanism. While focusing on the genre of science fiction, the book advances a general thesis that an ethics beyond the confines of the philosophically and politically bankrupt anthropocentrism requires an ontological transformation of the human subject. It addresses the narratological issues of subjectivity and shows how the cutting-edge science fiction of today pioneers new forms of representing bodies and minds beyond human. My current research continues and expands the projects begun in these two books. One direction focuses on representations of urban space in literature of the fantastic. The new book whose provisional title is Cities of Dreams, Empires of the Imagination explores fantastic cities – urban utopias and dystopias, flying and drowned metropolises, prison cities and urban worlds – and discusses their significance in shaping the urban imagination of post/modernity. The second project explores representations of time in contemporary culture, with a particular focus on post-utopia. Nostalgia, post-apocalypse and the eternal present are only some of the issues I address in the book whose provisional title is Zombie Histories, referencing the astounding popularity of the zombie in popular culture today. I am also a fiction writer, publishing in the genres of science fiction, fantasy and horror, with more than thirty stories and a novel to my credit. Currently I am working on a novel titled Nightwood based on fairy tales.
1. Elana Gomel
Bloodscripts: Writing the Violent Subject
Columbus: Ohio State University Press, 2003
. Elana Gomel
The Pilgrim Soul: Being Russian in Israel
Amherst: Cambria Press, 2009.
3. Elana Gomel
Postmodern Science Fiction and Temporal Imagination
London and New York: Continuum Press, 2010
4. Elana Gomel, Narrative Space and Time: Representing Impossible Topologies in Literature
New York: Routledge, 2014
5. Elana Gomel, Science Fiction, Alien Encounters, and the Ethics of Posthumanism: Beyond the Golden Rule London: Palgrave/Macmillan, 2014.
Articles in journals
1.“The Poetics of Censorship: Allegory as Form and Ideology in the Novels of Arkady and Boris Strugatsky”, Science-Fiction Studies, Vol.22, Part 1 (1995), 87-106.
2. “Mystery, Apocalypse and Utopia: The Case of the Ontological Detective Story”. Science-Fiction Studies, Vol.22, Part 3 (1995), 343-355.
3. “The Body of Parts: Dickens and the Poetics of Synecdoche”. The Journal of Narrative Technique, Vol.26, Number1 (1996), 48-75.
4. “The Tell-Tale Surface: Fashion and Gender in The Woman in White”. Victorians Institute Journal, Volume 25 (1997), 29-59 (with Stephen Weninger)
5. “Hard and Wet: Luce Irigaray and the Fascist Body”, Textual Practice, Vol. 12 Issue 2 (1998), 199-223.
6. “Written in Blood: Serial Killing and Narratives of Identity”, Postidentity, Vol.2, Number 1 (1999), 24-71.
7. “Science Fiction in Russia: From Utopia to New Age”, Science-Fiction Studies, Vol. 26 (1999), 435-441.
8. “From Dr. Moreau to Dr. Mengele: The Biological Sublime”, Poetics Today, Vol. 21, Number 2 (2000), 393-423.
9. “Aliens Among Us: Fascism and Narrativity”, The Journal of Narrative Theory, Vol.30, Number 1 (2000), 127-163.
10. “The Plague of Utopias: Pestilence and the Apocalyptic Body”, Twentieth-Century Literature, Vol. 1, (Winter 2001), 405-434.
11. “Cronenberg, Greenaway and the Ideologies of Twinship”. Body and Society, Vol. 9, No.3 (September 2003), 19-35 (with Stephen Weninger)
12. “Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray and the (Un)Death of the Author”, Narrative, Vol. 12, No. 1 (January 2004), 74-92.
13. “Romancing the Crystal: Utopias of Transparency and Dreams of Pain”. Utopian Studies 15.2 (2004), 65-91 (with Stephen Weninger).
14. “Gods Like Men: Soviet Science Fiction and the Utopian Self”, Science- Fiction Studies 94 (no.31, part 3, 2004), 358-377
15. “’Spirits in the Material World’: Spiritualism and Identity in the Fin de Siecle”, Victorian Literature and Culture 35 (2007), 189-213
16. "Lost and Found: The Lost World Novel and the Shape of the Past". Genre LX (Spring/Summer 2007), 103-127.
17. “Shapes of the Past and the Future: Darwin and the Narratology of Time Travel” Narrative Vol. 17, No.3 (May 2009), 334-352 (special issue on time and narrative).
18. "Everyday Apocalypse: G. J. Ballard and the Ethics and Aesthetics of the End of Time”. Partial Answers 8:1 (January 2010).
19. "Science (Fiction) and Posthuman Ethics: Redefining the Human". The European Legacy Vol. 16, No 3 (2011), 339-354.
20. "'Part of Dreadful Thing': The Urban Chronotope of Bleak House". Partial Answers Vol. 9, No.2 (June 2011), 297-311.
21. "Posthuman Voices: Alien Infestation and the Poetics of Subjectivity". Science- Fiction Studies 117 (Vol.39, Part 2, July 2012), 177-195.
22. “Invasion of the Dead (Languages): Zombie Apocalypse and the End of Narrative”. Frame – Journal of Literary Studies (26-1; May 2013).
23. “History of the End: Viktor Pelevin and Literary Postmodernism in Post-Soviet Russia”. Narrative Vol. 21, No. 3 (October 2013), 309-322 (special issue on Postmodernist Fiction: East and West).
24. “Cannibal Cities: Monstrous Urban Bodies in Contemporary Fantasy”. Redisco: Discourse and the Body http://periodicos.uesb.br/index.php/redisco/article/view/6184 .
25. “Utopia, Dystopia, Limbotopia: A Case for Expanding the Genres of the Future” (with Vered Karti Shemtov). Comparative Literature (forthcoming).
articles in collections
1. “’The Soul of This Man is in His Clothes’: Violence, Fashion, and Postmodern Identity in American Psycho”. In Brett Easton Ellis: American Psycho, Glamorama and Lunar Park. Naomi Mandel, ed., Continuum Press, 2010.
2. "'Rotting Time': Genre Fiction and the Avant-Garde ". In The Routledge Companion to Experimental Literature. Joe Bray, Alison Gibbons, and Brian McHale, eds. Routledge, 2012.
3. "Utopia in the Mud: Landscape in the Soviet Science Fiction Film". In Screening Nature. Anat Pick and Guinevere Narraway, eds. London: Berghahn Books, 2014
4. “Posthuman Rights: The Ethics of Alien Encounters”. In Unveiling the Posthuman. Artur Matos Alves, ed. (e-book). Inter-Disciplinary Press, 2012.
5. “Posthuman Rights”. In Imachine: There is no I in Meme. Tania Honey, ed. Inter-Disciplinary Press, 2012.
6. “Post Apocalypse now – Cormac McCarthy's "The Road" as Post-Apocalyptic Science Fiction” (with Yonatan Englender). In The Poetics of Genre in the Contemporary Novel. Tim Lanzendorfer, ed. New York: Lexington Book, 2015.
7. “Character Degree Zero: Space and Posthuman Subject”. In Science Fiction Beyond Borders. Shawn Edrei and Danielle Gurevitch eds. Cambridge Scholars (2016).
8. “The Zombie in the Mirror: Technology, Subjectivity, and Violence in Postmodern Genre Fiction”. In The Cambridge Companion to Postmodern American Fiction. Paula Geyh, ed. Cambridge University Press (2017)
9. “The Cyberworld is Flat: Cyberpunk and Globalization”. In The Cambridge History of Postmodern Literature. Brian McHale and Len Platt, eds. Cambridge University Press (2016)
10. “Our Posthuman Past: Subjectivity, History and Utopia in late-Soviet Science Fiction”. In The Human Reimagined: Posthumanism in Late Soviet and Post-Soviet Russia. Colleen McQuillen and Julia Vaingurt, ed. New York: Academic Studies Press (forthcoming)
11. “’Divided Against Itself’: Dual Urban Chronotopes”. In Cityscapes of the Future. Meyrav Koren-Kuik and Yael Maurer, eds. Rodopi (forthcoming).
12. “Quantum Gothic”. In The Gothic Reader. Simon Bacon, ed. McFarlane (forthcoming)
13. “Taboo Knowledge or Knowledge of Taboo? Science Fiction and the Expulsion from Eden”. In Ancient Israelite Philosophy: Fact or Fiction? Alex Kohav, ed.
1. “Yellow Stars”. In With Both Feet On the Clouds: Fantasy in Israeli Literature. New York: Academic Studies Press, 2013.
2. “Everyday Apocalypse: J. G. Ballard and the Ethics and Aesthetics of the End of Time”. In Deep Ends: the J. G. Ballard Anthology 2016. Rick McGrath, ed. Toronto: Terminal Press, 2016 (reprint).
1. M. Kaganskaya, Z. Bar-Sela, Elana Gomel, eds.
The Future of the Past: On Russian and Non-Russian Science Fiction (in Russian)
Moscow: The Russian State University of the Humanities Press, 2004.
2. Elana Gomel, Daniella Gurevitch, and Rani Graf eds. With Both Feet On the Clouds: Fantasy in Israeli Literature. New York: Academic Studies Press, 2013.
- A Tale of Three Cities, Dark Quest Books 2013
- “Lady of the Plagues”, The Dogstar and Other Science Fiction Stories (Leaf Books, 2007).
- “Little Sister”, Aoife’s Kiss, 2009
- “In the Moment”, New Horizons, 2010 (second place in the 2009 Short Story Competition of the British Fantasy Society)
- “Going East”, People of the Book: A Decade of Jewish Science Fiction and Fantasy edited by Rachel Swirsky and Sean Wallace (Prime Books, 2010)
- “Jonathan”, Bewildering Stories, October 2012
- “The Emissary of Shadows”, Bewildering Stories, July 2013
- “Dancing Up a Storm”, Timeless Tales Magazine (November 2014)
- “The Farm”. In Jews Versus Aliens. Lavie Tidhar and Rebecca Levene, eds. Jurassic London, 2015 (reprinted in Apex Book of World SF, Volume 4, ed. by Mahvesh Murad, Apex Publications, 2015).
- “White, Green, and Gold”. Bewildering Stories, no. 637 (September 2015)
- “Erl-King”. Clockwise: the Darkest Hour (Latchkey Tales, vol. 10), October 2015.
- “Motherhood”. The Singularity (Issue 4, 2016). https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01LFM0CRM/ref=dp-kindle-redirect?_encoding=UTF8&btkr=1#nav-subnav
- “The Firstborn”. Dark Fire Fiction (April 2016). http://darkfire.epizy.com/fiction_Gomel0416.html
- “Turandot”. Midnight Circus (EAB Publishing) (Summer 2016) https://www.amazon.com/dp/1534600221/ref=rdr_ext_tmb
- “La Serenissima”. Twelve Days of Christmas. Patchwork Raven (2016).
- “The Orrery”. Unsung Stories (June 24, 2016). http://www.unsungstories.co.uk/short/2016/24/6/the-orrery
- “Dancer from the Dance”. New Realm (Fiction Magazines), Vol. 4, No.9 (2016).
- “Eating Children”. EMP Publishing (Creepy Campfire Quarterly -Issue 5- SCIENCE FICTION Edition - February 2017)
- “Lady of the Plagues”. Digital Fiction Publishing (forthcoming; reprint)
- “Dead Ice”. Hypnos. April 2017.
- “The Checkpoint”. The Fantasist. March 2017. http://thefantasistmag.com/the-checkpoint/
- “The Kindly Ones”. MYTHIC. http://www.mythicmag.com/ Issue no. 2, 2017.
- “Lost Objects”. The 40P . http://the40p.com/stories/lost-objects
- “Eating Children”. Ink Stains Anthology (July 25, 2017)
- “Cities in Flight”. Thrice Fiction (May 1 2017; http://www.thricefiction.com/)
- “Melissa and the Stone Troll”. The Future Is Short: Science Fiction In a Flash 3 (Lillicut Press)
- “Death in Jerusalem”. Ink Stains Anthology (October 2017)
- “Lebensborn”. Asymmetry. https://www.asymmetryfiction.com/lebensborn/
- “Angelo”. Wolf Pack Publishing, Fae Wings and Hidden Things Anthology (2017 https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0732MFNQJ/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1498192995&sr=8-1&keywords=wings+and+hidden+things)
- “Eternity”. Three Drops from a Cauldron (forthcoming, September 2017).
- “Wings”. Lorelei Signals (forthcoming).
- “Worst of Times”. Society of Misfit Stories. Bards and Sages Publishing http://www.bardsandsages.com/literary_offerings/society_of_misfit_stories.
- “The Two Courts”. Fantasia Divinity Magazine (Issue 13, August 2017). http://fantasiadivinitymagazine.myfreesites.net/issue-13-august-2017
- “Dreaming the Dark” (novella). Candlelight and Gleam, The Reckless Imprint (an ebook) (forthcoming).
- “The Plumed Serpent”. Visions VII: Universe (Lillicat Publishers 2017).
- “Antlions”. Alien Dimensions, Issue 12 https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07547W7M7