Arts & Entertainment

Profile: Dr. Anne DeLong writes on all things horror

By Heather Gursky
Assistant A&E Editor

Dr. Anne DeLong is a professor at KU who teaches British, gothic and feminist literature in the English Department. While teaching at KU, she has achieved a high work ethic. Between co-editing the “Journal of Dracula Studies”and her accomplishments during last semester’s sabbatical, she has helped spread knowledge of 19th century studies.

Aside from her academics and publications, DeLong has a fascination for ghost stories and all things paranormal.  “There’s a whole lot of untapped stories that individual people have,” DeLong stated. “One of my interesting ghost stories is just by asking people anywhere I go, ‘Is this building haunted?’ And you get all kinds of great stories.”

One story she shared was of the “Shadowmommy” – presumably just a six-year-old’s imagination. In this flashback, DeLong recalls a story an acquaintance told her about a little girl and her “Shadowmommy”. The girl claimed that this figure talked to her and read her stories at night. The parents did not think much of it until Shadowmommy did not like the idea of another child joining the household.
Once they heard this, the parents  went to the spirit, saying that the new baby was there to stay whether it liked it or not. Shadowmommy did not exist after that point.

During her time off, Dr. DeLong wrote a book called “Classic Horror.” The book is a part of the “Historical Explorations of Literature” series, joining two other books previously published by other authors. DeLong is writing a second book, “The Victorian World,” for the series, anticipating its publication for December of this year.

When asked how she got this opportunity, she said, “They approached me about doing a book on classic horror involving chapters on ‘Frankenstein,’ ‘Dracula’ and some of the other text that I teach.” You can find “Classic Horror” in bookstores, as well as onAmazon.

On campus, Dr. DeLong is known for her 19thcentury focused classes. Her two classes, Current Themes in Literature: Ghost Stories (ENG 127) and From Science to Séance: Pseudoscience and Spiritualism (ENG 317) relate best to the topic at hand. In the interview, DeLong said that the two specific courses come around every two years.
In the ENG 127 course, she mentions how students learn about Kutztown legends and ghost stories and in ENG 317, students dive into science and how it mixes with spiritualism in the 19thcentury. The publication Dr. DeLong edits for, “The Dracula Journal Studies” (vampire lore, fiction and film), came to KU ten years ago. In 2008, the Canadian author Elizabeth Miller visited campus to give a lecture.

Based at least on the strength of interest [in vampires] that we had on campus and the scholarly work that Dr. Herr and I had done, [Miller] offered us the editorship of the journal,” DeLong said. Since then, the English professors have continued to publish an annual journal coming out around Oct. 31. The journal has not only received international contributions but also worldwide recognition. Archives of the journal can be found at http://www.kutztownenglish.com.

To find more publications by Dr. DeLong, look inside the bookcase in Lytle Hall or at your nearest bookstore. Make sure to keep an eye out for future publications. For more information on Dr. DeLong’s classes, go on to MyKU or her office in Lytle Hall, room 240.

Categories: Arts & Entertainment

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