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Vampire Literature Course Lets Students Get a Good Look at the Myth

Posted on the 18 January 2012 by Thevault @The_Vault

Vampire Literature Course Lets Students Get a Good Look at the MythWe who love True Blood know that Vampires can be a fascinating subject and the resurging popularity of vampires has helped stimulate interest in the first-year German studies course Our Vampires, Ourselves at University of Toronto.

It’s a fascinating subject,” says Erol Boran, the German department’s associate chair of undergraduate studies. “Perhaps students see themselves in vampires. That’s what makes them attractive. People think about them because they are very much like us.”

When, back in the mid-1990s, Boran set out to write his MA thesis on the subject of vampires in literature, his supervisor at the University of Würzburg was skeptical, deeming vampires not worthy of academic study. But the ‘Stoker year’ 1997, 100 years after Bram Stoker’s Dracula, changed everything, and now vampires not only populate film and literature, but have also become the focus of scholarly interest.

Boran created the course two years ago and named it after a book by Nina Auerbach. Asked why he chose to design and teach a course on vampires when his research interest has long since moved to minority studies, Boran responds: I thought I’d revisit vampires because they keep revisiting me. And, if you think about it, vampires can conceptually be perceived as another minority. The series True Blood, for instance, uses this concept very successfully. In general, it is intriguing to see the different guises in which vampires appear in various cultures. They provide a mirror image of human beings and social constellations.”

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