The Vampire Diaries as Postmodern Storytelling

Essays on the Television Series and Novels


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About the Book

Taking a postmodern critical approach, this collection of new essays explores The CW Network’s popular television drama The Vampire Diaries, taking in the complete original series (2009–2017), its spinoffs, source novels and fan fiction. Spanning three decades, TVD has engaged its predominantly teenage audience with storylines around love, friendship, social politics and gender roles. Contributors traverse the franchise’s metamorphosis to suit the complex tastes of an early 21st century audience.

About the Author(s)

Kimberley McMahon-Coleman has a PhD in literature from the University of Wollongong and is an associate professor (academic development) at Charles Sturt University in Australia. Her research interests include the Gothic, Indigenous literature, popular culture, and academic language and learning.

Nina Vanessa Weber has a Master’s degree in English and philosophy from the TU Dortmund University. She is a high school teacher of English and philosophy in Bergkamen, Germany. Her teaching and research interests include media studies, fan fiction, fantasy literature, as well as vampire fiction.

Iris-Aya Laemmerhirt holds a PhD in American Studies from the Ruhr-University Bochum. She is an assistant professor for American Studies at TU Dortmund University. Her teaching and research interests include Pacific studies, refugee studies, media studies, and popular culture.

Bibliographic Details

Edited by Kimberley McMahon-Coleman, Nina Vanessa Weber and Iris-Aya Laemmerhirt
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 234
Bibliographic Info: appendices, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2024
pISBN: 978-1-4766-8684-4
eISBN: 978-1-4766-5034-0
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vi
“Dear Diary”: An Introduction to The Vampire Diaries
Kimberley McMahon-Coleman, Nina Vanessa Weber and Iris-Aya Laemmerhirt 1
Part I. Genre: “I live in the real world, where vampires burn in the sun”
Once Upon a Time… Reading The Vampire Diaries as a Postmodern Fairy Tale
Iris-Aya Laemmerhirt and Nina Vanessa Weber 13
Loss and Redemption: Marketing Romantic Love in American Paranormal Romance
Maria Marino-Faza 30
“We have history together”: The Rhetoric of Adaptation in The Vampire Diaries
N. René Hoff 45
Part II. Gender: “I like being the eternal stud”
The Monster in the Mirror: Adolescence and Masculinity in Television’s The Vampire Diaries
Kimberley McMahon-Coleman 63
The Female Villain and Gender Trouble
Praveena Thompson 79
Part III. Fan Reception: “Hashtag, you’re welcome”
#Stelena vs. #Delena: The Vampire Diaries Fan Commentary on Gender, Sexuality, and Toxic Relationships
Melissa Ames 97
Bonnie Bennett and the Magic of Fandom
Ashley K. Smalls 115
Ethics in The Vampire Diaries Fan Fiction
Malin Isaksson 129
Part IV. (Moral) Choice and Identity: “I may just need to go get a hero hairdo of my own”
Antithetic Characters in the CW’s The Vampire Diaries: When Heroes Become Villains and Villains Become Heroes
Michelle Nicole Boyer 153
The Dreaded “C” Word: Choice, Identity, and the Postmodern Vampires in The Vampire Diaries
Hannah Hansen 169
“One by friend, one by foe, and one by family”: How Prophecies and Curses Influence Identity Construction in the World of The Vampire Diaries
Kari Sawden 182
Kimberley McMahon-Coleman, Nina Vanessa Weber and Iris-Aya ­Laemmerhirt 197
Appendix A: List of Novels 199
Appendix B: List of Television Episodes 201
Works Cited 205
About the Contributors 219
Index 221