Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

May, Brian

Degree Name

M.A. (Master of Arts)

Legacy Department

Department of English


Viewing the film Mama (2013) through the lens of a certain Gothic text, Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, reveals similar fears of the feminine alongside the focus of the nature of the in-between. These commonalities between the texts reveal an emerging trend in modern monster-horror films—the narrative-driven analysis of the role of the other and multiculturalism in the social consciousness. In this paper, I examine how Mama as an Imperial Gothic film builds on the tradition of indigenous stories, like La Llorona, and the Gothic. By referencing and combining these histories in the genre markers, it uses motherhood and the other to express the traumas and relationship between “colonized” and “colonizer” in the 21st century. The growth of the Imperial Gothic genre represents a movement towards a “neo-Imperial Gothic” which looks towards how to deal with Imperialism in the present and future rather than focusing on the traumas and fears of the past.


69 pages




Northern Illinois University

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