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  1. Course description 1 item
    1. 'Death, immortality, sexuality, rebellion and temptation. The vampire has embodied many literary and legendary images over the centuries. Whatever aspect holds your fascination, one thing is certain: the allure of vampires is eternal' (J. Gordon Melton, the vampire book).

      Ever since the publication of Bram Stoker's Dracula in 1897, the vampire has been one of the most loved villains in horror literature and on the silver screen. More importantly, the image of the vampire has had an important effect on western ways of thinking about evil, social norms, and 'the east'. The roots of vampire lore, however, are far older than stoker's work of fiction. This course examines the history, folklore, and cultural impact of the vampire from ancient Greece through 15th century wallachia to modern Hollywood. The course is a half-unit course with ten weekly lectures given by five tutors.

      The aim of the course is to give the student a framework for understanding the significance of the vampire as a cultural icon in the context of east European and wider western culture. The vampire is approached from a genuinely inter-disciplinary perspective: history, linguistics, folklore, literature, cultural studies, sociology, anthropology, and film studies are all incorporated in the study of the vampire.

  2. Course outline 1 item
    1.  

      Week 1 - Introduction to the course and screening of Dracula (1931).

      Week 2 - Vampires and vampirism: Belief, literature and history to the mid-nineteenth century I [MR]

      Week 3 - Vampires and vampirism: Belief, literature and history to the mid-nineteenth century II [MR]

      Week 4 - The Romanian Folkloric Vampire and Orthodox Burial Customs [RH]

      Week 5 - Vampires among South Slavs and Albanians: from the beginnings to Milosevic's heart (RH)

      Week 6 - Reading week

      Week 7 - Bram Stoker's Dracula and the Historical Vlad Dracula [RH]

      Week 8 - The migration of the vampire soul: The changing role of religion in vampire film [TH]

      Week 9 - Buffy the Vampire Slayer: the vampire as site of love and redemption [DA]

      Week 10 - Human living vampires and sanguinarians: vampire myths and the contemporary vampire subculture [TH]

      Week 11 - Themes in vampire studies [ALL]

  3. Course assessment 1 item
    1.  

      Students are required to write two essays:

       

      A) a 2000 word essay on one of the following questions:

      1. "The modern vampire has its origins in John Polidori." Discuss.

      2. Examine the contribution of Augustus Montague Summers (1880-1948) to the study of the vampire.

      3. To what extent are the characteristics which define Bram Stoker's Dracula as a vampire also the characteristics of the Romanian folkloric vampire?

       

       

      B) a 3000 word essay on the topic of their choice (50%+50% coursework assessment). The essay should address a specific problem; it is not just an opportunity to merely list a succession of facts about an issue. The topic and title of the essay must be confirmed with a course tutor who will give further guidance on readings, question formulation, and so on.

  4. Course programme 75 items
    1. 1. Introduction to the course and screening of Dracula (1931) 0 items
    2. 2. Vampires and vampirism: Belief, literature and history to the mid-nineteenth century I [MR] 16 items
      1.  

        This session examines the origins of vampire beliefs and their evolution in European history and literature until 1850. Topics discussed include: vampire origins and early beliefs; witches, striges and vampires; the discovery of the Balkan vampire; the vampire and the Enlightenment; Byron and Polidori; Early Victorian Gothic.

         

        Suggested reading:

      2. Vampires, burial and death: folklore and reality - Barber, Paul c1988

        Book 

      3. Vampyres: Lord Byron to Count Dracula - Frayling, Christopher 1992

        Book 

      4. Nightmare: the birth of horror - Frayling, Christopher 1996

        Book 

      5. Christian demonology and popular mythology - Klaniczay, Gábor, Pócs, Éva 2006

        Book 

      6. In search of Dracula: the history of Dracula and vampires - McNally, Raymond T., Florescu, Radu 1995

        Book 

      7. The darkling: a treatise on Slavic vampirism - Perkowski, Jan Louis c1989

        Book 

      8. Vampires and vampirism - Summers, Montague 2005

        Book  Also published as "The Vampire in Europe" - copy available in the library. Full text available on several internet sites: e.g. http://www.unicorngarden.com/vampires.htm

      9. The vampire in Europe - Summers, Montague [2003?

        Book  Also published as "Vampires and Vampirism" - copy available in library. Full text available on several internet sites, e.g. http://www.unicorngarden.com/vampires.htm

      10. Additional reading lists are available online at: 1 item
        1. http://blooferland.com/drc/images/7/7c/StDrBib2.rtf

           

          http://www.vampyrjournal.de/lit-allg.htm

    3. 3. Vampires and vampirism: Belief, literature and history to the mid-nineteenth century II [MR] 1 item
      1. See above

    4. 4. The Romanian Folkloric Vampire and Orthodox Burial Customs [RH] 16 items
      1. Vampires in the Carpathians: magical acts, rites, and beliefs in Subcarpathian Rus' - Bogatyrev, Petr, Horbal, Bogdan, Reynolds, Stephen, Krafcik, Patricia Ann 1998

        Book 

      2. The death rituals of rural Greece - Danforth, Loring M., Tsiaras, Alexander c1982

        Book 

      3. Count Dracula and the folkloric vampire: thirteen comparisons - Patrick Johnson 2001

        Article  To find the article, go to the "Journal of Dracula Studies" homepage located at: http://blooferland.com/drc/index.php?title=Journal_of_Dracula_Studies

      4. The Romanian Folkloric Vampire - Jan Louis Perkowski 1982

        Article 

      5. Were-wolf and vampire in Romania - Senn, Harry A. 1982

        Book 

      6. The vampire in Europe - Summers, Montague 1929

        Book  pp. 301-315

      7. The Orthodox Church - Kallistos 1983,c1963

        Book 

      8. The Orthodox Church - Kallistos 1972, c1963

        Book 

      9. Vampires and vampirism: Legends from around the world - Wright, Dudley 2001

        Book 

    5. 5. Vampires among South Slavs and Albanians: from the beginnings to Milosevic's heart (RH) 3 items
      1. This session aims at describing appearances of vampires in Albanian and South Slavic folklore and social life. It reveals different terms used for naming the vampires, various rituals for preventing someone to become a vampire and practices of defence against the vampires. It tends to show that vampire is not only a folkloric, or rustic figure, but a well established icon of modern and urban life.

         

        Suggested reading:

      2. The darkling: a treatise on Slavic vampirism - Perkowski, Jan Louis c1989

        Book 

    6. 6. Reading week 0 items
    7. 7. Bram Stoker’s Dracula and the Historical Vlad Dracula [RH] 15 items
      1. This session looks at the 'identity' of Stoker's Count Dracula and will dispel the myth that Stoker consciously took Vlad Dracula as the model for his protagonist. We will then look at the historical Vlad, who has become identified with Stoker's Count Dracula in 20th/21st century vampire film and fiction.

         

        Suggested reading:

      2. Dracula - Bram Stoker

        Webpage  Bram Stoker's Dracula is available online.

      3. British-Hungarian relations since 1848 - Peter, L., Rady, Martyn C., University of London c2004

        Book  "Bram Stoker's Transylvania" by R. Haynes, pp. 73-92

      4. Carmilla - Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu

        Webpage 

      5. In search of Dracula: the history of Dracula and vampires - McNally, Raymond T., Florescu, Radu 1995

        Book 

      6. Dracula: sense & nonsense - Miller, Elizabeth Russell 2000

        Book 

      7. From the Order of the Dragon to Dracula - Constantin Rezachevici 1999

        Article  To find the article, go to the "Journal of Dracula Studies" homepage located at: http://blooferland.com/drc/index.php?title=Journal_of_Dracula_Studies

      8. Vlad Tepes and his Use of Punishments - Constantin Rezachevici 2006

        Article  To find the article, go to the "Journal of Dracula Studies" homepage located at: http://blooferland.com/drc/index.php?title=Journal_of_Dracula_Studies

    8. 8. The Migration of the Vampire Soul: The Changing Role of Religion in Vampire Film [TH] 7 items
      1.  

        This session discusses the role of religion and religious expression in vampire movies and traces the change from the 1930's classics to contemporary portrayals. The question asked is whether the role of religion has diminished when vampires are brought into a modern technology-driven setting, or whether religious (under)tones persist in the seemingly "secularized" genre.

         

        Suggested reading:

      2. Monsters: evil beings, mythical beasts, and all manner of imaginary terrors - Gilmore, David D. c2003

        Book 

      3. The lure of the dark side: satan and western demonology in popular culture - Christianson, Eric S., Partridge, Christopher H. 2008

        Book  Chapter: "Celluloid vampires, scientization and the decline of religion" by T. Hjelm.

      4. Religion and its monsters - Beal, Timothy K. 2002

        Book 

      5. The vampire book: the encyclopedia of the undead - Melton, J. Gordon c1999

        Book 

    9. 9. Buffy the Vampire Slayer: the vampire as site of love and redemption [DA] 10 items
      1. This session examines what is typical and what atypical about vampirism in this American television series [1997-2003]. The focus is on how the character of the vampire intertwines with the major themes of the series: friends, love, and the necessity of evil. Other topics: physiological and psychological features. Vampires and sex; vampires and sexual intercourse; vampires and sexual orientation; vampires and gender. The vampire as figure of primordial wickedness; as social commentator; as site of love and redemption.

         

        Suggested reading:

      2. Buffy the vampire slayer and philosophy: fear and trembling in Sunnydale - South, James B. c2003

        Book  Chapter "Balderdash and chicanery : science and beyond" by Andrew Aberdein

      3. Buffy the vampire slayer and philosophy: fear and trembling in Sunnydale - South, James B. c2003

        Book  Chapter "Buffy the vampire slayer as feminist noir" by Thomas Hibbs

      4. Buffy the vampire slayer and philosophy: fear and trembling in Sunnydale - South, James B. c2003

        Book  Chapter "Buffy in the buff : a slayer’s solution to Aristotle’s love paradox" by Melissa M. Milavec and Sharon M. Kaye

      5. What would Buffy do?: the vampire slayer as spiritual guide - Riess, Jana c2004

        Book 

      6. Buffy the vampire slayer and philosophy: fear and trembling in Sunnydale - South, James B. c2003

        Book  Chapter "No big win : themes of sacrifice, salvation, and redemption" by Gregory J. Sakal

    10. 10. Human living vampires and sanguinarians: vampire myths and the contemporary vampire subculture [TH] 6 items
      1. This session explores the contemporary vampire subculture, from the vampire aesthetic of the gothic scene to actual blood drinkers. In addition, we will discuss cases of 'vampiric' serial killers and the supposed 'satanism' of the vampire subculture.

         

        Suggested reading:

      2. An adolescent vampire cult in rural America : clinical issues and case study - Thomas W. Miller, Lane J. Veltkamp, Robert F. Kraus, Tina Lane 1999

        Article 

    11. 11. Themes in vampire studies [ALL] 1 item
      1. The final session looks at the field of vampire studies as a whole. What does belief in vampires tell about society and culture? What do the popular fiction portrayals tell about society and culture? What approaches can be used in studying the vampire? How do vampire studies tie in with the area focus on central and east Europe (e.g. Dracula as a national symbol and tourist attraction in Romania)? Finally, what are the interesting future avenues for vampire research? Students will have an opportunity to discuss their own possible projects.

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