Leonie Rowland

Leonie Rowland

Twitter: @leonie_rowland (Twitter)
Email: leonie.a.rowland@stu.mmu.ac.uk
Website: https://www.leonierowland.com

Thesis Title

Chair Gives an Evil Cackle: the Japanese Gothic in the Age of Animist Capitalism


The Manchester Centre for Gothic Studies at Manchester Metropolitan University


Dr. Linnie Blake
Dr. Matthew Carter

Research Summary

My research indexes depictions of commodity animism—that is, the symbolic animation of the material world in a commercial context—in Japanese Gothic texts. This marketing technique, emerging from the intersection of capitalist materiality and indigenous spirituality, provides a vehicle for the Gothic expression of alternative forms of horror that expose rather than reinforce the harm enacted by a socioeconomic system that desecrates the spiritual.

Research Interests

Japanese Gothic,
Japanese horror,
Asian Gothic,
capitalist realism,
and film.


Selected conference papers

‘She Gets You Through the Phone’:
Criminal Commodities and Communications Technologies in the Techno-Animism of One Missed Call (Captivating Criminality, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, 2023)

Chair Gives an Evil Cackle: Japanese Gothic in the Age of Animist Capitalism (De-Westernizing Horror, KCL, 2022)

‘A Phone was Found Inside Her’: Techno-Animism as Trauma in the Folklore of Ju-On: Origins (Gothic in Asia Association, online, 2022)

‘Love in a Chair’: Commodity Animism and the Prophetic Past in Edogawa Rampo’s ‘The Human Chair’ (The Past as Nightmare, Reading University, 2022)

‘You Want to See Your Feet Come Off, Don’t You?’: The Logic of Commodity Animism in Satoshi Kon’s Perfect Blue and Ryu Murakami’s Audition (International Gothic Association, University of Dublin, 2022)

‘She Lusted After Buildings, and They Lusted After Her’: Fetishizing the Domestic Space in Junji Ito’s Fragments of Horror (Gothic Spaces, Tokyo University, 2019)

‘My Hands, My Feet—They Existed Only for the Store!’: The Search for an Empty Self in Sayaka Murata’s Convenience Store Woman (Reimagining the Gothic, Sheffield University, 2018)


‘She Lusted After Buildings, and They Lusted After Her’: Objectophilia and Commodity Animism in Junji Ito’s ‘Wooden Spirit’ and ‘Futon’ (Fantastika Journal, February 2022)

‘Love in a Chair’: Industrialisation and Exploitation Edogawa Rampo’s ‘The Human Chair’ and Junji Ito’s Manga Adaptation (Lexington, November 2021)


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