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The Open Graves, Open Minds Project

Max Ernst, Une semaine du bonte
* * See News page for forthcoming Events; here are some of them:
*Dr Sam George will be reading a paper on teaching the vampire in the academy at the HEA's conference, 'Heroes and monsters: extraordinary tales of learning and teaching in the Arts and Humanities' at The Lowry, Salford, 2-4 June.
* The OGOM book is now out and looks fabulous--thanks to all our contributors. Details are on the MUP website. A link to this and a flyer are available on the Publications page. 
* Dr Catherine Spooner, University of Lancaster, who has been associated with OGOM from the first conference and has contributed to the book, has created a blog for her Beyond Twilight project on teenage Gothic fiction.
* From Matt Beresford and Kaja Frank, University of Hertfordshire:
We're starting a Gothic reading group for Autumn 2013. Join up and let us know which text we can't miss from our list - the more weird, wonderful, and controversial the better. Here's to long nights and heated debates! (At the moment this is for U of H students and staff, but we invite other people to engage online.)
* The special issue of Gothic Studies is now on line. There is also a flier available from the Publications tab.
* Here's a link to the catalogue entry for an interesting new collection of essays, with a foreword by Sam George:
Lisa Nevarez, ed., The Vampire Goes to College: Essays on Teaching with the Undead (McFarland, anticipated Dec 2013). This will be of interest for those teaching vampire or Undead narratives or undead. The book was partly inspired by OGOM and the idea of vampires in the academy.
* Short course on Gothic Film: Genre, Gender, Sexuality, University of Hertfordshire.
* NEW! Fee-waivers and bursaries for PhD in Vampires and the Undead in Modern Culture. More details on the News page.

The Open Graves, Open Minds: Vampires and the Undead in Modern Culture Research Project is led by Dr Sam George at the University of Hertfordshire, in collaboration with Dr Bill Hughes. The Open Graves, Open Minds project relates the undead in literature, art, and other media to questions concerning gender, technology, consumption, and social change, and was initiated by a prominent and exciting conference in April 2010.

We intend that the project will generate a series of events, publications, and inspiring discussions. Select papers from the 2010 conference will appear in a special edition of Gothic Studies; other papers and specially commissioned chapters appear in a monograph, Open Graves, Open Minds: Representations of Vampires and the Undead from the Enlightenment to the Present (Manchester: MUP, 2013). Further publications will follow and more conferences are planned.

This book, though of wider interest, will also become a reader for the new MA module, ‘Reading the Vampire: Science, Sexuality and Alterity in Modern Culture', which Sam has pioneered at the University of Hertfordshire. The vampire MA module ran for the first time in 2010/11 and has already caused quite a stir. Sam was interviewed by Simon Midgley in The Times about inviting vampires into the curriculum and giving them an academic platform in an article entitled ‘Counting on Dracula' (16 March 2011). For further discussions, see ‘Coffin Boffin Syllabus' and ‘Get your Master's Degree in Vampire Literature'. You can view the course schedule for the introductory module here. To apply for the Modern Literary Cultures MA Programme, follow this link. For enquiries, please contact Dr Sam George directly on

Graves open up, and ghastly but fascinating creatures of the imagination emerge, spurring creative and analytic responses of many kinds. As with Bram Stoker's Van Helsing in Dracula, encounters with the Undead have facilitated, in Dr Seward's words, ‘an absolutely open mind'. The phrase, ‘Open Graves, Open Minds', which graces this project, appears in Daniel Waters's young adult novel, Generation Dead. Dan has very kindly allowed us to use this slogan which, for us, is both witty and inspiring. Waters's powerful, often very funny, and moving novel (and its sequels) dramatises with great intelligence many of the striking themes in fictions of the undead which have been explored throughout this project. We would very much like to recommend his work to you.

Web design by Bill Hughes. © Sam George and Bill Hughes 2012