Vampires in Film and Literature

Course Code: HUMA 242

Academic Year: 2023-2024

Why do vampires fascinate us? At any specific historical and cultural moment, society's fears, desires and obsessions have been encoded in the vampire. Perhaps our perennial interest reflects the vampire's chameleon-like ability to change in response to our own needs. This course will deconstruct the figure of the vampire in literature and film. The course will consider how Bram Stoker's iconic Dracula encapsulates the imperialist fear of the foreign, uncivilized other while F.W. Murnau's Nosferatu reflects the rising anti-Semitism of fascist Germany. Also, does Anne Rice's tortured vampire, Louis, capture the alienation and fragmentation of the modern self? The course will employ theoretical approaches (e.g. queer theory, identity politics, feminist theory, post-colonial theory, etc.) to pinpoint the taboos, desires, social and moral values and psychological anxieties that are enacted in the ever-changing figure of the vampire.