Second annual Gothic Festival celebrates art, literature, film on Macon campus

A man stands at the front of a room and speaks into a microphone while a crowd of people watch on
A crowd gathers for a panel discussion at the inaugural Gothic Festival in 2021. Photo courtesy Dr. Clara Mengolini

MACON – Mercer University will host its second Gothic Festival Oct. 26-29, featuring a few new additions to the inaugural Gothic-themed events held on the Macon campus last year.

This year’s festival was organized by Dr. Clara Mengolini, associate professor of Spanish literature, and Marc Jolley, senior lecturer of philosophy and director of Mercer University Press.

Both professors share an enthusiasm for all things Gothic, and they discovered other Mercer faculty members who are similarly interested in Gothic art, literature, film and more. For instance, Dr. Jonathan Glance is a fan of Frankenstein; Dr. Kevin Cummings has a class about monsters; and Dr. Thomas Bullington teaches Gothic literature in his INT course.

“All of a sudden, we were a group of professors who all like scary stuff, so we got together and planned this whole week,” Dr. Mengolini said.

poster advertising the gothic festival

Festivities, most of which are free and open to the public, begin on Wednesday, when a panel of scholars will present their research in Connell Conference Room I from 6-7:30 p.m.

Topics include Patrick Jolley discussing the Gothic atmosphere of prisons, schools and hospitals and Dr. Mengolini speaking on differences between the Gothic in Latin America and the U.S., inspired by author Maria Enrique.

Thursday will feature a screening of the film “Cat People” from 6-8:30 p.m. in Connell Conference Room I, followed by a discussion led by Dr. Jacqueline Pinkowitz, assistant professor of media studies.

Friday’s game night will involve participants in a contest of One Night Ultimate Werewolf from 6-10 p.m. in Connell Conference Room I.

On Saturday afternoon, students will have the chance to win awards for their submitted work during an art exhibition, contest and cosplay from 2-3:30 p.m. in Connell Conference Room I.

The festival will conclude on Saturday evening at 7:30 at Tattnall Square Center for the Arts, with Scott Mann, associate professor of theatre, directing students in a play, called “Mercer Haunts: Chilling True Accounts of Darkness from Mercerians Past and Present.” Cosplay is welcome and encouraged. This is a ticketed event. Advance tickets are $5 and can be purchased at or by calling the box office at (478) 301-5470.