Vampire MA Studies (Uni of Herts, four years on)

I mentioned that this is the fourth year of my course: ‘Reading the Vampire: Science, Sexuality and Alterity in Modern Culture’ in the OGOM news blog and I thought you might like to see the  course description and weekly schedule 2014 Open Graves, Open Minds is now the leading text book used and the reading material for the course reflects this as it contains very fine essays by Catherine Spooner, Bill Hughes, Marcus Sedgwick and many more, all of which tie in with the novels I chose for the weekly reading in the beginning.  It is quite amusing at this stage too (when there are quite a few copycat bloodsucking courses springing up) to look back at some of the scoffers and detractors who commented in the early days when I first invited vampires into the academy (and when the media mistakenly thought we had developed a whole degree on vampires!!). Here are some headlines and extracts:

‘Coffin Boffin Syllabus: Twilight craze sparks chance to study all things undead as part of a new University degree’ (STV Entertainment News)
‘Twilight Gets Scholarly Treatment’ (NY Times)
‘Wanna Study Edward Cullen?’ (Mediabistro)
‘Vampires make leap to academia’ (Wall Street Journal)

Listen up, Lestat lovers: The University of Hertfordshire in England will be offering a master’s degree in vampire lit, apparently the only one of its kind in the world. We imagine that the program, which begins this September, will cover all the bloodsucking basics, from Nosferatu to Twilight and of course Anne Rice. Extra credit for anyone who scores an interview with a vampire (Globe and Mail)

I can’t even express how badly I wish I could take this course. Maybe I am just a big vamp-geek, but the idea of taking an intellectual look at vampire fiction throughout time makes me so giddy that I want to bounce around like a six-year-old on caffeine pills.

Gothic studies have been popular in universities for some time but vampire studies still require some explanation. However, like the vampire we have endured and I’ll be welcoming the new students on Wednesday.  I cannot wait!! Let the feast begin. I’ll be blogging about our workshops here…..

our locally sourced oak coffins were also used for serving  the Gothic cup cakes!!

our locally sourced oak coffins were also used for serving the Gothic cup cakes!!

About Sam George

Associate Professor of Research, School of Humanities, University of Hertfordshire Co-convenor OGOM Project
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