Friday, August 13, 2010

Ever wanted to go to Harvard and study vampire literature?: The Vampire in Literature and Film ENGL E-212 The Vampire in Literature and Film

The vampire is everywhere in popular culture—in novels such as the Anita Blake and Sookie Stackhouse series, young adult literature like The Twilight Saga, television series such as Buffy The Vampire Slayer, True Blood, Ultraviolet, and The Vampire Diaries, as well as short fiction, comic books, graphic novels, and films. Yet the vampire myth has existed for thousands of years, and has been widely used by writers as a vehicle for addressing a host of provocative topics. How can we account for the popularity, adaptability, and unique appeal of the vampire figure? With what fears and fantasies in the human psyche does it resonate? In terms of the literary genre, how do we classify these increasingly diverse works? The course explores the many aspects of this phenomenon, from its origins in the gothic tradition to its recent incarnation as urban fantasy and paranormal romance. Readings include the early vampire stories of John Polidori, Lord Byron, Bram Stoker, and Sheridan LeFanu; and the more recent fiction of Anne Rice, Charlaine Harris, Laurell K. Hamilton, John Ajvide Lindqvist, Elizabeth Kostova, Stephenie Meyer, and Seth Grahame-Smith. Films are viewed after class, and theoretical works by Freud, Auerbach, and others assist us in our investigations. (4 credits)

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