S Accounts of the Count: Dracula Rising
SUBJECT TO ALTERATIONS!
3.02.120: S Accounts of the Count: Dracula Rising
- [Module] ang612 - Periods and Key Figures
- [Credits] 6 KP
- [Instructor] Dr. Christian Lassen
- [Time] Tuesday, 8-9 am: weekly chat (via "Meetings" on our Stud.IP page); Tuesday, 9-10 am: video conference for presentation groups, designed to discuss the presentation scheduled for the following week
- [Room] A01 0-005; until further notice: video conferences for presentation groups; power point presentations; chat (via "Meetings")
- [Description] The seminar is at the same time an homage to and an analysis of the world's most famous (and arguably most creepy) vampire: Count Dracula. Approaching the topic from a neo-Victorian angle, the course aims to trace the aspects that inspire and eventually necessitate a revision of this Victorian revenant. Revisiting this character will lead us to address issues as diverse as gender and sexuality, colonization, drug addiction, fans, fandoms and intertextuality. Consequently, we will discuss a number of Victorian and neo-Victorian texts, all of which have in common that they engage in a confrontation with the past in order to reassess and rewrite Victorian horror stories whose influence shape British culture up to the present day.
- [Office Hours] see Stud.IP; until further notice, office hours will be held via video conference. Please sign up for a time slot on my Stud.IP profile ("Sprechstunden") and you will receive a link to the virtual conference room.
- Polidori, John. "The Vampyre." 1819. The Vampyre and Other Tales of the Macabre. Oxford: OUP, 2008. 1-24. Print.
- Sheridan Le Fanu, J. "Carmilla." 1872. In a Glass Darkly. Oxford: OUP, 2008. 243-319. Print.
- [Prüfungsleistung] (Gruppen-)Referat (max. 3 Personen; 45-60 min.) mit Schriftlicher Ausarbeitung (10 Seiten) [oder in Ausnahmefällen: Hausarbeit (15 Seiten)]
- [Aktive Teilnahme] 5 Abstracts, jeweils inklusive Thema, Forschungsstand, These und Outline des Arguments (je 1 Seite insgesamt)
Please note that written assignments (abstracts, short term papers, long term papers) need to be composed according to the style sheet ("Leitfaden")of the University of Oldenburg, which can be accessed via the 'Institutswiki'-page of the English department. The style sheet not only provides relevant information on how to write a correct bibliography but it may also help you to structure your work according to academic standards.
Please make sure to sign the "Erklärung zum 'Plagiat'" and to attach it to your research papers.
- [Abgabefrist] September, 15, 2020.
- 1 Introduction [Session One]
- 2 Session Two, April, 21: Theory Session
- 3 Session Three, April, 28: Blood Brothers: Vampirism and Male Homoeroticism
- 4 Session Four, May, 05: The Blood Countess: Vampirism, Sexology, and Female Same-Sex Desire
- 5 Session Five, May, 12: Blood v. Soil: Vampirism and (Reversed) Colonization
- 6 Session Six, May, 19: Blood Samples: Vampirism, Addiction and Substance Abuse
- 7 Session Seven, May, 26: Blood Circulation: Vampirism, Male Homosociality and Homosexual Panic
- 8 Session Eight, June, 02: Blood Relations: Vampirism and the Queer Family
- 9 Session Nine, June, 09: Blood Disease: Vampirism and AIDS
- 10 Session Ten, June, 16: Stage Blood: Vampirism and Gender Performativity
- 11 Session Eleven, June, 23: Blood Poisoning: Vampirism, Substance Abuse, Addiction, and Aging
- 12 Session Twelve, June, 30: Bloody Racists: Vampirism and White Supremacy
- 13 Session Thirteen, July, 07: Bloody Misogynists: Vampirism and Anti-Feminism
- 14 Session Fourteen, July, 14: RPO Session
Introduction [Session One]
Assignments are graded and mandatory. In order to obtain 6 credits (KP), you will have to give a (group) presentation (Referat, 45-60 min.) on one of the presentation topics specified in the syllabus. In addition to that, you will have to hand in a short term paper (Ausarbeitung, 10 Seiten) by the end of term (September, 15). In exceptional cases, you may hand in a long term paper (Hausarbeit, 15 Seiten) instead of the above. However, an exception is only granted upon consultation.
- Presentation Topics, Presentation Groups, Video Conferences for Presentation Groups
Presentation Topics are specified on your syllabus. In order to prepare your presentations, please pick a topic, get together in groups (see below) and write up a power-point presentation. Add your comments to the presentation, for example via open cast, save the file and send it on to me so that we can discuss your presentation in a video conference (see below). After that, you make your file available on Stud.IP on the Friday before your presentation so that all participants can read/ watch the presentation in time, i.e. before the session/ chat.
Requests regarding your choice of presentation topics can be send to me via e-mail, starting on Tuesday, March, 31. I will sign you in in the order of the requests' arrival. Please check this page regularly to see if your requests have been met.
Video Conferences for presentations take place in the second part of the weekly sessions, i.e. Tuesday 9-10 am. Please make sure that you attend the video conference the week before your presentation is due.
- Active Participation
Active Participation is ungraded but mandatory. In order to fulfil the requirements, you will have to write five abstracts, each including a topic, a state of research, a thesis statement, and a brief outline of your argument (approx. 1 page), in the course of the seminar. You can choose your own topic; however: all abstracts have to address different primary texts. In other words, your abstracts will have to cover five out of six primary materials. They are due by the end of the week (i.e. Friday) that marks the ending of the respective sections, i.e. due date "The Vampyre": May, 01; due date "Carmilla": May, 08; due date Dracula: May, 29; due date Interview With a Vampire: June 12; due date Ed Wood: June 26; due date Twilight: July, 10)
- Weekly Chat
In order to discuss the presentations and related topics, I will be in the chatroom ("Meetings" on our Stud.IP page) during the first part of each session, i.e. Tuesday 8-9 am. Please make sure to read/ watch the presentations before you join the chat. The second part of each session, i.e. Tuesday 9-10 am, is booked for the respective presentation groups (see video conference for presentation groups)
Relevant secondary material will be made available on Stud.IP. Please note that, additionally, the syllabus includes an extensive bibliography that maybe helpful with regard to your presentations and written assignments (abstracts; short/ long term papers).
1. Pick a presentation topic and contact me via e-mail (starting March, 31). Check below for available places. Presentation groups may consist of a maximum of 3 people.
2. Contact the other members of your group and prepare your presentation, i.e. power-point presentation with audio commentary (e.g. with open cast).
3. Send me your presentation 8 days before your presentation is scheduled.
4. Discuss your presentation with me in a video conference 7 days, i.e week, before your presentation is scheduled. Video conferences take place on Tuesdays, 9-10 am.
5. Upload your file on the Friday before your presentation is scheduled.
6. Join the chat and be ready to answer questions via chat on the day of your presentation. Chats take place on Tuesdays, 8-9 am.
Session Two, April, 21: Theory Session
- Carroll, Samantha J. "Putting the 'Neo' Back Into 'Neo-Victorian': The Neo-Victorian Novel as Postmodern Revisionist Fiction." Neo-Victorian Studies 3.2 (2010): 172-205.
- Llewellyn, Mark. "What Is Neo-Victorian Studies?" Neo-Victorian Studies 1.1 (2008): 164-85.
On the texts:
- How is the relationship between Victorian and neo-Victorian texts conceptualised? What is 'Victorian' about Neo-Victorianism and what is 'neo' about Neo-Victorianism?
- What is the critical potiential of the postmodern 'neo' in 'neo-Victorian'? What difference does it make? Or doesn't it make any difference at all?
- Why is it simplistic to read neo-Victorian texts solely with regard to the Victorian tradition?
- If neo-Victorian texts revisit and revise Victorian texts, then: what do these revisions reveal about the past? And what do they reveal about the present?
- How can you relate these revisions to textual practices: who speaks? (narration); who sees? (focalisation); matters concerning perceptibility and reliability? And what are potential effects of shifts in narration and focalisation? Or in other words: Who gets to speak? Who gets to see? Who is telling the story? In a neo-Victorian text (as opposed to a Victorian text)?
Beyond the texts:
- Thinking about Victorian ("Carmilla", Dracula) or even pre-Victorian ("The Vampyre") representations of the vampire, what are some of the features and character traits that have been ascribed and attributed to this stock character?
- Why would these representations count among the primary examples of Victorian Gothic fiction?
- What contemporary, i.e. Victorian, discourses can you discern in these texts? And which relevant contexts and issues could they be related to?
- In view of postmodern/neo-Victorian (Interview with a Vampire, Twilight) representations of the vampire, what differences in representation can you discern? And what are their potential effects?
- What do these differences revise about past, i.e. Victorian, representations? And what do they reveal about present, i.e. postmodern and neo-Victorian, representations?
- Do postmodern/neo-Victorian representations of the vampire attribute a different set of features and character traits to the stock character? Or are they 'variations' on the same themes?
- Hypothesis: If, in any given culture, the stock character of the vampire embodies qualities that are secretly desired, yet outwardly disavowed, demonised, and displaced onto the 'Other', then: what is it that these variations on the stock character of the vampire can reveal about these cultures?
- Video Conference Group:
Session Three, April, 28: Blood Brothers: Vampirism and Male Homoeroticism
- Auerbach, Nina. Our Vampires, Ourselves. Chicago and London: The U of Chicago P, 1995. 11-38.
- Skarda, Patricia L. "Vampirism and Plagiarism: Byron's Influence and Polidori's Practice." SiR: Studies in Romanticism 28 (Summer 1989): 249-69.
On the origin of the text:
- When and under what circumstances did this story come into being? What is the "myth" behind the story?
On formal matters:
- What do you find out about the narrator?
- What do you find out about the focaliser?
- How is Lord Ruthven characterised? Which of his character traits continue to define the stock character of the vampire in later works?
- Gender/Sexuality: How is the homosocial/homoerotic bond between Lord Ruthven and Aubrey represented? What role do the female characters (Ianthe; Miss Aubrey; the Italian girl; etc.) play in the text? Can you discern 'love triangles' and if so, what is their function? Can you discern 'sibling substitution'?
- Settings/Space: How are the settings described? Do you find landscapes that are construed in a 'meaningful' way? What are the various stations of "the tour" (5) Aubrey and Ruthven are going on - Belgium, Italy, Greece, etc.? How do they relate to constructions of centre v. margin?
- Pathology/Disease: How is Aubrey's disease represented towards the end of the story?
- Genre: Do you find similarities between the relationship of Ruthven and Aubrey and that of other Gothic male 'couples', e.g. Victor Frankenstein/Creature (Mary Shelley's Frankenstein); Caleb Williams/Falkland (William Godwin's Caleb Williams); Jekyll/Hyde (Stevenson's Strange case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde); Louis/Lestat (Neil Jordan's Interview with a Vampire, etc.)
- Video Conference Group: Michaela Tsankova, Anna Pleye, Janna Poppen
May, 01: Abstract "The Vampyre" due
Session Four, May, 05: The Blood Countess: Vampirism, Sexology, and Female Same-Sex Desire
- Sheridan Le Fanu, J. "Carmilla." 1872. In a Glass Darkly. Oxford: OUP, 2008. 243-319. Print.
- Antrim Major, Adrienne. "Other Love: Le Fanu's Carmilla as Lesbian Gothic." Horrifying Sex: Essays on Sexual Difference in Gothic Literature. Ed. Ruth Bienstock Anolik. Jefferson, NC, and London: McFarland, 2007. 151-66.
- Palmer, Paulina. "The Lesbian Vampire: Transgressive Sexuality." Horrifying Sex: Essays on Sexual Difference in Gothic Literature. Ed. Ruth Bienstock Anolik. Jefferson, NC, and London: McFarland, 2007. 203-32.
- Auerbach, Nina. Our Vampires, Ourselves. Chicago and London: The U of Chicago P, 1995. 38-60.
- A Case Study in Female Same-Sex Desire, or: "Carmilla"'s Narratological Design and the Lesbian Origins of Vampirism
- Presentation Group: Michaela Tsankova, Anna Pleye, Janna Poppen
- Video Conference Group: Menko Harken, Marlon Müller
May, 08: Abstract "Carmilla" due
Session Five, May, 12: Blood v. Soil: Vampirism and (Reversed) Colonization
- Arata, Stephen D. "The Occidental Tourist: Dracula and the Anxiety of Reverse Colonization." Victorian Studies 33.4 (Summer 1990): 621-45.
- Viragh, Attila. "Can the Vampire Speak? Dracula as Discourse on Cultural Extinction." ELT 56.2 (2013): 231-45.
- The Empire Bites Back, or: Cultural Resistances to Colonization in Dracula
- Presentation Group: Menko Harken, Marlon Müller
- Video Conference Group: Wiebke Tepe, Timo Hackstedt, Mayra Ege
Session Six, May, 19: Blood Samples: Vampirism, Addiction and Substance Abuse
- Aikens, Kristina. "Battling Addictions in Dracula." Gothic Studies 11.2 (2009): 41-51.
- Harrison, Debbie. "Doctors, Drugs, and Addiction: Professional Integrity in Peril at the Fin de Siècle." Gothic Studies 11.2 (2009): 52-62.
- Addiction and Substance Abuse, or: Doctors, Drugs, and 'Degeneracy' in Dracula
- Presentation Group: Wiebke Tepe, Jan-Gerd Großkortenhaus, Timo Hackstedt, Mayra Ege
- Video Conference Group: Lea Behrens, Carlotta Rabeler, Anna Gödecke
- Craft, Christopher. Another Kind of Love: Male Homosexual Desire in English Discourse, 1850-1920. Berkeley et al.: U of California P, 1994. 71-105.
- Clark, Damion. "Preying on the Pervert: The Uses of Homosexual Panic in Bram Stoker's Dracula." Horrifying Sex: Essays on Sexual Difference in Gothic Literature. Ed. Ruth Bienstock Anolik. Jefferson, NC, and London: McFarland, 2007. 167-76.
- Schaffer, Talia. "'A Wilde Desire Took Me': The Homoerotic History of Dracula." ELH 61.2 (Summer 1994): 381-425.
- What You Get Is What You Give, or: Blood Donation, Male Homoeroticism, and Male Homosexual Panic
- Presentation Group: Lea Behrens, Carlotta Rabeler, Anna Gödecke
- Video Conference Group: Svea Schneider-Pungs, Antonia Schepers, Leonie Ostendorp
May, 29: Abstract Dracula due
Session Eight, June, 02: Blood Relations: Vampirism and the Queer Family
- Benefiel, Candace R. "Blood Relations: The Gothic Perversion of the Nuclear Family in Anne Rice's Interview with the Vampire." The Journal of Popular Culture 38.2 (2004): 261-73.
- Bruhm, Steven. "Gothic Sexualities." Teaching the GothicEds. Anna Powell and Andrew Smith. London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2006. 93-106.
- Feeding on Family Values, or: Ambivalent Representations of the Queer Family in Interview with the Vampire
- Presentation Group: Svea Schneider-Pungs, Antonia Schepers, Leonie Ostendorp
- Video Conference Group: Franca Zeisler, Aaron Bremer, Tabea Hirsch, Sophie Rosa Castro Colle Marques Schulz
Session Nine, June, 09: Blood Disease: Vampirism and AIDS
- Haggerty, George E. "Anne Rice and the Queering of Culture." Novel: A Forum on Fiction 32.1 (Autumn 1998): 5-18.
- Auerbach, Nina. Our Vampires, Ourselves. Chicago and London: The U of Chicago P, 1995. 163-92.
- Dieting or Dying, or: AIDS, Abstinence, and Anti-Gay Policies of Blame
- Presentation Group: Franca Zeisler, Aaron Bremer, Tabea Hirsch, Sophie Rosa Castro Colle Marques Schulz
- Video Conference Group: Kea Michelle Maul, Laura Nietzold, Kevin Weinhold
June, 12: Abstract Interview With a Vampire due
Session Ten, June, 16: Stage Blood: Vampirism and Gender Performativity
- O'Brien, Harvey. "'Really? Worst Film You Ever Saw. Well, My Next One Will Be Better': Edward D. Wood Jr., Tim Burton and the Apotheosis of the Forsaken." Trash Culture: Objects and Obsolescence in Cultural Perspective. Ed. Gillian Pye. Oxford et al.: Peter Lang, 2010. 221-238.
- Latham, Rob. "Tim Burton's Trash Cinema Roots: Ed Wood and Mars Attacks!" The Works of Tim Burton: Margins to Mainstream. Ed. Jeffrey Andrew Weinstock. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2013. 133-49.
- Drag-cula, or: Gender, Performance, and Performativity in Ed Wood
- Presentation Group: Kea Michelle Maul, Laura Nietzold, Kevin Weinhold
- Video Conference Group: Tristan Pargmann, Malte Stolle, Julia Tiemann, Michel Lutzke
Session Eleven, June, 23: Blood Poisoning: Vampirism, Substance Abuse, Addiction, and Aging
- Lennard, Dominic. "'This is my art, and it is dangerous!': Tim Burton's Artist Heroes." The Works of Tim Burton: Margins to Mainstream. Ed. Jeffrey Andrew Weinstock. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2013. 217-30.
- Page, Edwin. Gothic Fantasy: The Films of Tim Burton. London and New York: Marion Boyars, 2007. 128-42.
- Drug-cula , or: Dying Divas (aka Whatever Happened to Bela Lugosi?)
- Presentation Group: Tristan Pargmann, Malte Stolle, Julia Tiemann, Michel Lutzke
- Video Conference Group: Sarah von der Brelje, Vivien Grimme, Marian Donkor, Tabea Bleßmann
June, 26: Abstract Ed Wood due
Session Twelve, June, 30: Bloody Racists: Vampirism and White Supremacy
- Borgia, Danielle N. "Twilight: The Glamorization of Abuse, Codependency, and White Privilege." The Journal of Popular Culture 37.1 (2014): 152-73.
- Jensen, Kristian. "Noble Werewolves or Native Shape-Shifters." The Twilight Mystique: Critical Essays on the Novels and Films. Eds. Amy M. Clarke and Marijane Osborn. Jefferson, NC: McFarland, 2010. 92-105.
- Of Vampires and Werewolves, or: Racist Representations of Caucasian and Native American Stereotypes in Twilight
- Presentation Group: Sarah von der Brelje, Vivien Grimme, Marian Donkor, Tabea Bleßmann
- Video Conference Group: Sarah Kaltofen, Janina Gomez, Johanna Bode
Session Thirteen, July, 07: Bloody Misogynists: Vampirism and Anti-Feminism
- Jarvis, Christine. "The Twilight of Feminism? Stephanie Meyer's Saga and the Contradictions of Contemporary Girlhood." Children's Literature in Education 45 (2014): 101-15.
- Bliss, Ann V. "Abstinence, American Style." The Twilight Mystique: Critical Essays on the Novels and Films. Eds. Amy M. Clarke and Marijane Osborn. Jefferson, NC: McFarland, 2010. 107-20.
- No Sex Before Marriage, or: Anti-Feminism and the Will to Sexual Submission in Twilight
- Presentation Group: Sarah Kaltofen, Janina Gomez, Johanna Bode
July, 10: Abstract Twilight due
Session Fourteen, July, 14: RPO Session
Guidelines for finding your RPO topic:
Your RPO topic needs to be related to at least one of the primary texts
September, 15: Term Paper due