Inviting Vampires into the Academy

I finished teaching MA ‘Reading the Vampire: Science, Sexuality and Alterity in Modern Culture’ yesterday (see tab for ‘Undead Studies’ above) with a pertinent session on folklore and fiction. The course is designed to come full circle visiting the monstrous folkloric vampires of Eastern Europe and journeying forward to encounter the debonair Romantic vampire via Byron, the Satanic Lord (Dracula) and the femme fatale (Carmilla), before moving out of the darkness and into the light and arriving at the sympathetic vampire in the twentieth century (having engaged with various debunkings and subversions). We survey a number of genres and manifestations (treatises, vampire theatricals, phantasmagoria, penny dreadfuls, novellas and twenty first century YA fictions etc.) and revisit the returned in the concluding session when we explore a contemporary take on the revenants of seventeenth-century Europe in My Swordhand is Singing (Marcus compellingly calls them ‘hostages’).

A big thank you to all of my MA students for their lively input in the workshops. I am excited to read their extensive research papers in the next few days. I came across an article in the Independent this week claiming that a US university is finally teaching a course on vampire fiction when I have been teaching this myself since 2010 ouch! Well they do say imitation is the biggest form of flattery but I hope someone will put them right:

I have a short break now for marking before I begin teaching ‘Generation Dead: Young Adult Fiction and the Gothic’ on the 18th January. I am currently working on some new course material for this and will post the updated schedule shortly. We will uncover a bubbling cauldron of illicit desire and embark on another enchanted journey during which we will encounter doppelgangers, zombies, vampires, wolf children, werewolves, hybrid beasts, witches, dark fairies and changelings …..I cannot wait.

If you interested in undertaking vampires studies at MA level do post a comment below with your contact details and I will reply.

About Lucy Northenra

Senior Lecturer in Literature, University of Hertfordshire
This entry was posted in Generation Dead: YA Fiction and the Gothic news, MA Reading the Vampire module news and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

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