Skip to main content
Contribution to Book
Gothic Landscapes of the South
The Palgrave Handbook of the Southern Gothic
  • Matthew Sivils, Iowa State University
Document Type
Book Chapter
Publication Version
Submitted Manuscript
Publication Date
Surveying the development of the Southern Gothic landscape, Sivils locates its origins in seventeenth-century captivity narratives by figures such as Garcilaso de la Vega and Captain John Smith. He then traces the cultural evolution of the Southern Gothic landscape through a selection of texts by Henry Clay Lewis, Charles Chesnutt, William Faulkner, Flannery O’Connor and others. Referencing critics such as María del Pilar Blanco and Yi-Fu Tuan—and placing emphasis upon the portrayal of the swamp as related to issues of racial oppression—Sivils ultimately argues that these landscapes function as much more than just passive settings. They are, rather, dynamic sites of haunting that reflect, and at times participate in, the South’s legacy of human and environmental abuse.

In Palgrave Handbook of the Southern Gothic, edited by Susan Castillo Street and Charles L. Crow. 83–93. London: Palgrave, 2016 reproduced with permission of Palgrave Macmillan'. 'This extract is taken from the author's original manuscript and has not been edited. The definitive, published, version of record is available here:

Copyright Owner
Palgrave MacMillan
File Format
Citation Information
Matthew Sivils. "Gothic Landscapes of the South" The Palgrave Handbook of the Southern Gothic (2016) p. 83 - 93
Available at: