The Vampire in the Nineteenth Century and Beyond, Outside Dracula: An Annotated Bibliography by Literary Topics: Vampires Students Summer 2023

Benshoff, Harry. “The Monster and the Homosexual.” The Monster Theory Reader, edited by Jeffrey Andrew Weinstock, 226-40. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2020. JSTOR, Annotation by Tierney Dewane.

Benshoff argues that the monster character is more readily accepted by a queer audience, as they already situate themselves outside the dominantly patriarchal and heterosexual societal norms. Both the monster character and queer people are relatable in the sense that they are viewed to be an “other” within their societies, which is something that Benshoff makes a point of earlier in his piece. He also notes how queerness and homosexuality is suited for the horror genre due to common thematic concerns like death and sex, and provides various examples of how homosexuality intersects with horror film. Texts from this course such as John Polidori’s “The Vampyre” and Sheridan Le Fanu’s “Carmilla” were also brought up as examples in Benshoff’s piece.

Boyer, Sabrina. “‘Thou Shalt Not Crave Thy Neighbor’: ‘True Blood’, Abjection, and Otherness.” Studies in Popular Culture, 33, no. 2 (2011): 21–41. JSTOR. Annotation by Ariel Rutten.

Mostly referencing and exploring HBO’s ‘True Blood’, Boyer examines the trope of the vampire and what it has come to represent or permeate within modern culture, as well as in the article’s main point of emphasis—the South. She discuss common themes of “otherness” within the vampire archetype and how it has allowed us to explore the human identity, humanity, and monstrous frameworks. Published through the University of North Carolina, this source is peer reviewed and does a deep analysis of sexual or gendered representation, stemming from ideas from other authors and citations. While Boyer’s main point is to evaluate how ‘True Blood’ succeeds in representing these complex themes through the vampire storyline it writes, the ideas and quotes Boyer brings pertain very well to my question—why does the vampire trope work so well as a metaphor for the queer and racial identity. 

Cameron, Brooke. “Domestic Plots and Class Reform in Varney the Vampire.” Victorian Popular Fictions, 4, no. 2 (2022): 47-62. ISSN: 2632-4253 (online) DOI: Annotation by Jon Levendusky.

Cameron highlights the changing attitudes towards marriage, namely the contrast between working-class couplings, which were more mutual and based on love, and the middle to upper-class which viewed marriage as a transaction. Cameron places Varney the Vampire as a piece geared towards a working-class readership that had largely been ignored, mostly due to a lack of literacy. She makes a compelling argument for Varney reflecting the working-class politics of the time, and this piece would be valuable for anyone covering love, marriage, gender dynamics, and class struggles in their research.

Dallis, Jameela. “Love: Toni Morrison’s African American Gothic.” The Bloomsbury Handbook to Toni Morrison, ed. Linda Wagner-Martin, 123-140. London: Bloomsbury, 2023. Annotation by Taiyana Plummer.

Dallis’ essay reflects on Toni Morrisons’ novel Love, and how Dallis argues it belongs in the subcategory of African American Gothic. Dallis states that Love uses the historical and racial history of African Americans before, during, and after segregation in the United States to build and adapt on previous themes of Gothic literature such as Law and Lawlessness, power and influence, etc which she includes in her book Love. Dallis argues that Gothic themes and horror often align with African American realities, meaning the creation of African American Gothic is somewhat inevitable and understandable in its creation. Dallis also argues that through African-American Gothic, writers like Morrison are able to recover parts of African American history that have been “neglected or suppressed” (128). This essay is good for anyone looking to reflect on history’s role in Gothic literature or if someone is focusing on African American Gothic elements.

Feurer, Rosemary. “The Meaning of ‘Sisterhood’: The British Women’s Movement and Protective Labor Legislation, 1870-1900.” Victorian Studies, 31, no. 2 (1988): 233–60. JSTOR, Annotation by Grace Martin.

Feurer argues that there was a major push for women’s rights in Britain between 1870- 1900, but she also believes that there were important women’s movements as early as 1859. In this article, she guides the reader through the history of late 19th century Britain’s women’s rights. Feurer explains how Britain’s women’s rights movement was not received well by the men, especially due to women detaching and calling themselves ‘free agents’ in 1872. I believe that Feurer’s article is helpful to anyone exploring Carmilla. The beginning of Carmilla was first published in 1872 Britain, which is a part of the timeline that Feurer explores. Carmilla is a story that revolves around women, as it is a lesbian vampire fiction. It is important to understand the context of Carmilla in British society, and what Le Fanu wanted to tell this country about women or lesbianism. I believe that Le Fanu was one of the men who advocated for putting a stop to the women’s rights movement.

Groom, Nick. The Vampire: A New History. (PLACE? PRESS? DATE).

In this book, Groom speaks on the imagery of the vampire throughout time. Not just Stoker’s Dracula but Polidori’s Lord Ruthven and other iterations of the creature. These different images of the vampires go throughout time. This source is useful and valid as the author is a professor of literature at the University of Macau. He would have studied extensively on the topic and done the necessary research to compile the content. In my own project, I will be using the descriptions and imagery given by Groom to compare to the descriptions and imagery of sexual sadists. I can then determine if it is just early written vampires that are sexual sadists or the vampire period.

Haefele-Thomas, Ardel. “‘The Dropping of Blood from the Clouds.’” The Vampire in Nineteenth Century Literature, edited by Brooke Cameron and Lara Pauline Karpenko, 47-60. London: Routledge, 2022. DOI: 10.4324/9781003173083-4 Annotation by Sarah Joslin.

The chapter focuses on deconstructing some Western colonization by discussing the biases inherent in the writings of Richard Burton–specifically his translation of Vikram and the Vampire–and how they impacted British attitudes toward India, as well as the consequences for this. Haefele-Thomas summarizes Arabian Nights and Vikram and the Vampire. She also discusses how Western masculinity attempted to feminize Eastern Men. Haefele-Thomas also points out how Burton included the final story in the Vikram and the Vampire collection and how, in my paraphrasing, “a broken clock is right twice a day.”

Hallab, Mary Y, “Vampires and Society,” in Vampire God: The Allure of the Undead in Western Culture, 33-48. State University of New York Press, 2010. Annotation by Autumn Johnson.
This chapter starts by mentioning the origins of vampire life and how becoming undead was often a punishment to those who were criminals or social outcasts. This transitions nicely into how classic vampires were used as social lessons for readers. Hallab references many stories, including Polidori’s “The Vampyre”, to point out how, though these vampires may be charming, they were not good people in their previous lives. The chapter continues on to discuss how vampires are viewed over many generations and their relationship with the past both in literature and in their individual lives. Much of the chapter is spent analyzing this relationship between the vampire, their past, and their immortality. This is a good source for questions based around the history of vampires, social views of vampires, and the immortal aspect of vampires.

Hendricks, George D., and Mary Washington. “Blood and the Moon.” Western Folklore, vol. 21, no. 3 (1962): 197–197. JSTOR. Annotation by Josephine Hinderman.

George Hendricks describes how the moon as a celestial body has dictated human beliefs throughout history, especially in regards to medicine (such as how peoples’ blood flowed within them not unlike how tides flow beneath different phases of the moon) and the treatment of mental illness. With this mention of mental illness, there was a sort of tongue-in-cheek belief held where people were wary of visiting hospitals (and asylums) during times of the full moon because of the effect lunar cycles were believed to have on mentally ill individuals. I felt like this was another article that would help in supporting my research question.

Hobson, Amanda. “Dark Seductress: The Hypersexualization of the Female Vampire”  Gender in the Vampire Narrative, ed.Amanda Hobson and U. Melissa Anyiwo, 9-28. Amsterdam: Brill, 2016. Annotation by Autumn Johnson.

This essay focuses exclusively on the female vampire’s sexuality, making it a great choice for topics referring to Scarlet Thirst and Carmilla. Hobson discusses how the hypersexualization of female vampires has both positive and negative outcomes and takes note of how it has changed over time yet remains a prevalent idea. She references Carmilla directly and focuses on a few other pieces to form an analysis that discusses how power and violence stems from hypersexuality. She also talks about sexual and racial identity under the same lens. This is a good essay to reference for questions about the differences between male and female vampires, as well. They are compared in terms of hunting styles and how they are perceived by other characters and the reader. Overall, the essay covers a fair amount of information that touches on many themes from this class.

Jönsson, Gabriella. “The Second Vampire: ‘Filles Fatales’ in J. Sheridan Le Fanu’s ‘Carmilla’ and Anne Rice’s ‘Interview with the Vampire.’” Journal of the Fantastic in the Arts, 17, no. 1 (2006): 33–48. JSTOR, Annotation by Anna Brandl.

Jönsson describes the role of women and gender in Carmilla. Multiple texts that we studied in this course are mentioned in  this journal which provides areas for us to create connections between texts. Jönsson explores ideas about what vampires are like as male characters versus female characters, and continues on to explore how women are viewed in the Victorian time period. There are many resources used for this text that could be helpful to our class, but my recommendation would be to look at Carmilla, Varney, and Polidori to make connections between texts. Jönsson also lists the article I previously talked about written by Signorotti in the references area, and this allows connections to be made between the two articles.

Johnson, Judith E. “Women and Vampires: Nightmare or Utopia?” The Kenyon Review, vol. 15, no. 1 (1993): 72–80. JSTOR, Accessed 27 June 2023. Annotation by Grace Martin.

Johnson argues that recent female authors of vampire fiction have changed the metaphorical message of the vampire. In contrast to the misogynistic rape scenarios in the stories written by male authors, such as in Varney the Vampire, Johnson outlines the improvements that female authors have made to this genre and focuses on Gomez’s The Gilda Stories. Johnson believes that female-written vampire stories are “more utopia than nightmare,” meaning that they include positive messages about women, feminism, and homosexuality. I believe that this article perfectly compares the differences between the two types of vampire stories, based on the gender of the author. This article will be helpful to anyone exploring topics of misogyny, gender, and sexuality in the stories we have read, especially Varney the Vampire. Also, although not directly mentioned in the article, this may be helpful when examining Scarlet Thirst, as Johnson lays out how non-male authors have transformed the view on the erotic modern vampire.

Limpár, Ildikó. “Masculinity, Visibility, and the Vampire Literary Tradition in What We Do in the Shadows.” Journal of the Fantastic in the Arts, vol. 29, no. 2 (2018): 266–88. JSTOR, Annotation by Aubrey Laux.

Limpár’s piece is perfect in analyzing modern vampires and tying that evolution to society’s changes. There is a strong case present that because society has changed, some vampire tropes cannot exist, particularly the consuming of women (even more specifically, virgin women) with the notes of how sexism was tied to that. In this article, the main source is the 2014 film What We Do in the Shadows with various references to Twilight (book and film) and Anne Rice titles, particularly Interview with the Vampire. The writing goes on to remind readers that vampires represent the fears within society and dives into some of the modern fears that What We Do in the Shadows touches on. These fears include white men losing authority and masculinity, old ideas having no meaning, and general anxieties about finding your place in an evolving world. This is a good piece for comparing new vampires to past vampires or investing cultural fears within vampiric tales.

McLean, Rebecca. “The Addict as Vampire.” The Vampire in Nineteenth Century Literature, edited by Brooke Cameron and Lara Karpenko, 82-91. London: Routledge, 2022. DOI: 10.4324/9781003173083-6. Annotation by Sarah Joslin.

This chapter discusses how vampirism is used in symbolism to depict characters with opiate addiction. McLean argues that this is done with intention to shift views of addicts to one of sympathy. This is done by shifting the view of addicts/vampires as something to be afraid of to something that can be seen with sympathy. The three stories discussed are addressed in separate sections, the titles of which are a summary of the contents themselves: Redemption and Punishment in Non-Fiction and “The Cruel Painter”; The Addict – Donal Grant; The Vampire and Redemption: Lilith.

Moore, Alison. “Rethinking Gendered Perversion and Degeneration in Visions of Sadism and Masochism, 1886-1930.” Journal of the History of Sexuality, vol. 18, no. 1, (2009): 138–57. JSTOR, Accessed 29 June 2023. Annotation by Mia Bolyard.

This article looks into different depictions of sadism, masochism, or other sexual perversions in literature. Some examples of the imagery spoken about include the difference with gender and sexuality. The journal the article was written for is called “Journal of the History of Sexuality” and is a journal that touches on many different forms of sexuality across different platforms, different sexualities (lesbian, etc.), gender expression, and cultures. Submissions are reviewed by a panel of peers. It goes through a very specific process to decide if it is relevant and researched enough to be published. For my project, it would be utilized to see the trends of sadism in literature in comparison to the descriptions of the vampire attacks in written pieces, such as Polidori’s “The Vampyre”.

Mukherjea, Ananya. “My Vampire Boyfriend: Postfeminism ‘Perfect’ Masculinity, and the Contemporary Appeal of Paranormal Romance.” Studies in Popular Culture, 33, no. 2 (2011): 1-20. JSTOR, Annotation by Tierney Dewane.

Mukherjea writes about the current genre of vampire-human romances and its relationship to postfeminism. She argues that the appeal for these vampire boyfriend and human girlfriend romances has to do with the conflicted relationship women have to femininity and feminism. Women want both security and independence, and this is something she notes that the vampire lover can provide since they contain elements of both the past and the future as well as being present. Mukherjea additionally argues that the real focus of this genre is on the heroine’s human, emotional development and satisfaction. Her piece provides several contemporary examples that involve this current genre.

Nicol, Rhonda. “‘You Were Such A Good Girl When You Were Human’ Gender and Subversion in The Vampire Diaries.” Gender in the Vampire Narrative, edited by Amanda Hobson and Melissa Anyiwo, 145-160 (Rotterdam: PRESS? 2016). Annotation by Aubrey Laux.

Nicol’s primary argument concerns the subversion of gender perceptions in the show The Vampire Diaries. Nicol analyzes the character arc of Caroline Forbes, the relationship between Katherine and Elena, and the Stefan/Elena/Damon love triangle to show that The Vampire Diaries is a feminist commentary on finding identity and confronting one’s mistakes. The arguments made in this essay are sound, supported by many examples, and original. This source is a chapter in a scholarly book, both written and edited by academics. This essay provides a great framework for analyzing vampire literature with a feminist lens. It also centers around contemporary portrayals of vampires and women in vampire stories, which is key to my research question.

Ní Fhlainn, Sorcha. “Contemporary Vampires.” Twenty-First-Century Gothic: An Edinburgh Companion, edited by Maisha Wester and Xavier Aldana Reyes, 102-116. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2019. JSTOR, Annotation by Mamie Umland.

Ní Fhlainn aims to discuss more recent modern and contemporary portrayals of vampires in literature and media, including more recent films from the 1980s and 1990s. Ni Fhlainn discusses the origins of certain vampire literature and media and how it has directly changed and influenced the current depictions of vampires we see today. While the chapter does directly mention texts we’ve covered, such as Carmilla and The Vampyre, Ni Fhlainn spends more time discussing modern takes on vampire literature that may descend from these original works and how this previous historic vampire literature may have influenced the contemporary works.

Roth, Elaine. “This Is America: Race, Gender and the Gothic in Get Out (2017).” Gothic Film: An Edinburgh Companion, edited by Richard J. Hand and Jay McRoy, 206017. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2020. JSTOR, Annotation by Taiyana Plummer.

Roth reflects on the ways Jordan Peele’s Get Out uses Gothic imagery and tools to reflect the possible predatory nature of White people (in the United States specifically) and how that’s embedded in American culture to the point of normalization. The article or book chapter does a good job at pointing out Jordan Peele’s deliberate and intentional usage of race and sexuality–Black and white relations in the United States as well as the oversexualization of Black men in the United States by White women–which he embedded with traditional Gothic imagery. This article is beneficial especially if you plan on acknowledging the connection of real issues and history that was embedded in the readings and films we watched.

Signorotti, Elizabeth. “Repossessing the Body: Transgressive Desire in ‘Carmilla’ and ‘Dracula.’” Criticism, 38, no. 4 (1996): 607–32. JSTOR, Accessed 29 June 2023 Annotation by Anna Brandl.

Signorotti argues the perceptions of women in different vampire texts – specifically comparing Dracula and Carmilla.  She describes how women in Dracula are thought of and portrayed as property of men while women in Carmilla experience sexual freedom and refusal to be restricted. This article is informational and analytical of the role of women in different vampire stories. This article would be useful for anyone who is focusing on gender and the role of women in vampire stories. The text mentions both Polidori’s The Vampyre and other stories that we worked with in class. These stories would be helpful for people to use because they are relevant texts that we talked about in class while also giving some more in depth information on the texts. A specific source that might be helpful to our class is number 13 on the notes list which is Veeder’s summary of the storyline of Carmilla.

Spooner, Catherine. “Gothic Charm School; or, How Vampires Learned to Sparkle.” Open Graves, Open Minds: Representations of Vampires and the Undead from the Enlightenment to the Present Day, edited by Sam George and Bill Hughes, 146-64. Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2013. JSTOR. Annotation by Haven Ludwig.

Spooner argues that the changing of the vampire’s nature reflects a wider change in media as a whole. The gothic has become more accepted in mainstream media, in part due to those within “outsider” subcultures making an effort to become more widely accepted, reflected in the shift from a monster who wants only to prey on others to a monster who wants to be human. This chapter could be useful for a classmate who is also looking into how the vampire narrative has changed over time. The article “Fashioning the Vampire” by Maria Mellins, a chapter from her book Vampire Culture, is cited in the chapter and could potentially be useful for another project.

Walker, Richard J. “The Blood Is the Life: Bram Stoker’s Infected Capital.” Labyrinths of Deceit: Culture, Modernity and Identity in the Nineteenth Century. (Liverpool: Liverpool University Press, 2007): 256–83. JSTOR, Annotation by Jon Levendusky.

Walker begins by examining themes of disease and addiction in various vampire stories, primarily Dracula, but also Varney the Vampire, Polidori’s “The Vampyre”, and Byron’s “The Giaour”. From there Walker discusses themes of national identity and the concept of the vampire existing in a melting pot of cultures and nationalities, as well as the vampire as colonizer, leading to Marxist interpretations of capitalism as vampirism. Walker is not so much a singular argument, but an exploration of a variety of themes, using text quotes from Dracula and citing a variety of sources, and could be very useful for anyone touching on addiction, disease, science, religion, national identity, colonialism, and capitalism.

Wester, Maisha. “The Gothic in and as Race Theory.” The Gothic and Theory: An Edinburgh Companion, edited by Jerrold E. Hogle and Robert Miles, Edinburgh University Press, 2019, pp. 53–70. JSTOR. Annotated by Aubrey Laux.

Wester’s writing focuses on gothic literature, not just vampire literature. This is a compilation of notes that have been made on gothic literature and pieces that have used race. The overarching theme presented is that monsters and fears have been used to often showcase society’s fears. Commonly monsters and fears are often depicted as dark or black or foreign, which is not good. The argument here is that as this tactic was commonly used, minority communities suffered in just being used to scare people. It is observed that this also prevented minorities to be actual characters, just monsters. In modern times, there are now stories that feature the same effect with white characters; whiteness can be seen as a lack of character or even a negative and destructive character trait. All in all, this is a good source for having notes on the effects of racism in literature but this does not directly refer to any literature that has been read in this class.

Wilson, Katharina M. “The History of the Word ‘Vampire.’” Journal of the History of Ideas, 46, no. 4 (1985): 577–83. JSTOR, Annotation by Rebecca Stewart.

In this scholarly article from the University of Georgia, Wilson aims to discuss the origins of the word “Vampire.” Through a deep dive into its etymology throughout many languages, she finds that the word is just as mysterious as the creature itself. Wilson lays out four schools of thought, in order, assuming Turkish, Greek, Hebrew, and Hungarian roots. The first was made popular by Franz Miklosich. He claimed “vampire” and its Slavic synonyms “upior,” “uper,” and “upyr” all stem from the Turkish word “uber” meaning witch. The second thought is that the word stems from a Greek verb that means to drink. The third believes the word comes from the Hebrew word “BAMIIUP” which has gained nearly universal acceptance. The fourth theory is most popular with Americans and the English is that the word Vampire comes from the Hungarian word “vampir,” but this theory seems implausible given the use of the Hungarian word post-dates the western use by a over one hundred years. This article would be beneficial to anyone who is exploring the creation of vampires, what makes a vampire a vampire, or if someone is looking into the etymology of the word, though this article may bring up more questions than answers. 

Young, Lin. “Curating the Vampire Queer (Un)Natural Histories in Carmilla.” The Vampire in Nineteenth Century Literature: A Feast of Blood, edited by Brooke Cameron and Lara Karpenko, 63-77. London: Routledge, 2022. Annotation by Aubrey Laux.

In this essay, Young first explores the structures and ideologies of the Victorian museum in what he coins “the museum gaze”. He argues that this gaze is forced on the characters Carmilla and Laura in Carmilla, and that Carmilla transgresses against being categorized throughout the novel. Young comes to the conclusion that the uncategorizability explored in the story is where the horror of Carmilla originates for Victorian audiences. There are numerous examples given in the essay to support Young’s claims, and the book is edited by doctors of the University of Notre Dame. This source provides a great example of weaving textual evidence with cultural phenomena to create an airtight argument.

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