Syllabus

Course Meeting Times

Seminars: 2 sessions / wk; 1.5 hrs / session

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

Course Prerequisites

None

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.

Textbooks

The assigned texts are: 

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

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

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

Grading

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).