Journal article Open Access
McLennon, Leigh M.
Non-existent before the late 1980s, in recent years urban fantasy / paranormal romance has become the prevailing form of the monstrous Gothic in popular culture. In little more than two decades, urban fantasy has evolved from striking new genre innovations, coming to constitute a set of now-familiar genre conventions. Yet while urban fantasy has risen meteorically in popularity, especially in the last decade, it remains surprisingly understudied as a coherent genre. McLennon in the article Defining Urban Fantasy and Paranormal Romance: Crossing Boundaries of Genre, Media, Self and Other in New Supernatural Worlds provides a clear definition and history of urban fantasy / paranormal romance as a genre. She argues that this genre is both formally and thematically concerned with destabilising new Gothic boundaries—boundaries of genre, of media, of self and Other. Finally, McLennon suggests that these formal and thematic challenges to boundaries offer one explanation for this genre’s broad popularity. The article thus seeks to provide a platform from which we can better analyse and understand both this genre as a whole, and its individual texts, across a variety of media.