The Vampire Goes to College

Essays on Teaching with the Undead

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About the Book

This collection of original essays presents pedagogical tools, methods, and approaches for incorporating the figure of the vampire into the learning environment of the college classroom, in the hopes of ushering the Undead out of the coffin and into the classroom. The essays foster interdisciplinary collaboration and dialogue, and serve as a collective resource for those currently teaching the vampire as well as newcomers to vampire studies. Opening with a foreword by Sam George, the collection is organized around such topics as historicizing the vampire, teaching the diverse vampire, and engaging the student learner. Interwoven throughout the volume are strategies for incorporating writing instruction and generating conversations about texts (“texts” defined broadly so as to include film and other media). The vampire allows instructors to explore timeless themes such as life and death, love and passion, immortality, and monstrosity and Otherness.

About the Author(s)

Lisa A. Nevárez is an associate professor of English at Siena College in Loudonville, New York.

Bibliographic Details

Edited by Lisa A. Nevárez

Foreword by Sam George

Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 256
Bibliographic Info: notes, bibliographies, index
Copyright Date: 2014
pISBN: 978-0-7864-7554-4
eISBN: 978-1-4766-1365-9
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vi
Foreword by Sam George 1
Introduction by Lisa A. Nevárez 5

Part I: Teaching the Historical Vampire
“Legitimizing” Vampire Fiction as an Area of Literary Study by Sue Weaver Schopf 9
“But why do they have fangs?” The Cultural History of the Vampire as a Teaching Strategy in the Literature Classroom by Heide Crawford 21
Taking Dracula’s Pulse: Historicizing the Vampire by Lisa Lampert-Weissig 32

Part II: Teaching the Diverse Vampire
Outside/In: Using Vampires to Explore Diversity and Alienation in a College Classroom by U. Melissa Anyiwo 45
“Can you blush?” Racing the Vampiric Body by Crystal Boson 56
Unknowable and Immeasurable: Queer Studies, Assessment and the Ever Resistant Vampire by Seri I. Luangphinith 67
The Vampire Cult of Eternal Youth by Jean R. Hillabold 78

Part III: Writing the Vampire
Stories That Sparkle in Sunlight: Using Twilight to Teach Writing by Amy Hodges 93
Vampire Literature: The Missing Component in Writing for the Sciences by Neena Cinquino 102
Fangs in the Cornfields: Teaching Vampire Literature to Nontraditional Students in the Composition Classroom by Vicky Gilpin 111

Part IV: Teaching the Textual Vampire
Text Pairing, Setting, and Vampire Literature: Teaching Bram Stoker’s Dracula and Stephen King’s ’Salem’s Lot by Alissa Burger 123
Timely … or Timeless? Teaching the Twilight Saga by Heather Duerre Humann 136
A Tale of Three Draculas: Teaching Evolution and Genre Conventions by Murray Leeder 146
Cherokee, Creole and Mormon, Oh My! A Look at Vampire and Religious Representations for the Literature Classroom by Alisha M. Chambers 154
National Literature to RPGs: Vampires in the Polish Classroom by Michał Wolski 167

Part V: Engaging the Student
Team Edward! Team Eric! Team Critical Thinking! Teaching the New American Vampire to First Year Undergraduates by Candace R. Benefiel and Catherine Coker 177
Luring Online Students with the Power of the Vampire by Anne Daugherty and Jerri L. Miller 192
Blood, Lust and Transformation: Vampires in the Community College Classroom by Leslie Ormandy 204
In the Cultural Shadows: Insights from a Media and Cultural Studies Course by Rita Turner 218
Blogging the Undead: Information Literacy and Vampire Literature in an Honors Seminar by Lisa A. Nevárez 231

About the Contributors 241
Index 245

Book Reviews & Awards

  • “valuable”—Journal of American Culture
  • “the collection offers practical advice and useful resources to teachers and scholars of vampire studies. The richness of the teaching materials included make the book of tremendous value to other instructors”—Journal of the Fantastic in the Arts