21L.310 | Fall 2018 | Undergraduate

Bestsellers: Out for the Count


Course Meeting Times

Seminars: 2 sessions / wk; 1.5 hrs / session

Note: this is a half-semester course for 6 credits. 

Course Prerequisites


Course Description

This class uses a range of literary texts to trace the growth of the vampire trope from its first appearance in English-language fiction in the early years of the nineteenth century. Centering on classic works by Lord Byron, John Polidori, Sheridan le Fanu, Bram Stoker, and others, we learn about the formation of the modern literary canon, the folklore of the undead, and the creation of one of the most prolific popular culture genres—vampire fiction—which reached its first apotheosis in Stoker’s masterwork, Dracula.


The assigned texts are: 

Tieck, Johann Ludwig. Wake Not the Dead. Dodo Press, 2008. ISBN: 9781406539295.

Ryan, Alan, ed. Penguin Book of Vampire Stories. Penguin, 1989. ISBN: 9780140124453.

 Stoker, Bram. Dracula (Norton Critical Edition). Edited by Nina Auerbach and David Skal. W.W. Norton & Company, 1996. ISBN: 9780393970128.


There will be one 1,500 word written paper due Session #7 and one 2,500 word paper due Session #11. The first paper will assess the leading features of the vampire trope as it began to be domesticated in earlier English-language sources. The second and longer paper will survey what we have learned about the growth of vampire fiction as a genre during the 19th century leading to its classic formulation in Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1897).

Course Info

As Taught In
Fall 2018
Learning Resource Types
Written Assignments