Vampirism: History of the Modern Myth

E. Efe (Comparative Literature; AMESALL)
Charles Häberl (Chair, AMESALL)

This seminar will cover the birth and growth of the vampire figure in the modern imagination, from the romantic era to our present. We will explore what went into the making of the vampire as a modern myth. In particular, we will analyze where the vampire stands in the history of blood, and what it has to do with the image of the Turk or the Oriental, with the Balkans or “the East of Europe.” We will look at the classical age of vampirism as a moment in intellectual history one tied to the evolution of “circulation” at large, of goods, ideas, money, and again, of blood. While reading romantic poetry and tales, we will investigate the social, historical, and philosophical implications of the rise of the blood-sucking monster. These various contexts will enrich our discussions when we address vampirism in contemporary film and popular culture at the end of the semester.