Course Meeting Times
Seminars: 2 sessions / wk; 1.5 hrs / session
Note: this is a half-semester course for 6 credits.
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:
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).