The Vampire before the Vampire: Varney and the Feast of Blood

12th December 2016 | Michelle Mackie.

Today, the vampire figure has become ingrained in popular consciousness in various incarnations. We have the glittering “vegetarian” vampire in Twilight (2008), the depiction of vampirism as addiction in Interview with the Vampire (1994) and The Lost Boys (1987), as well as the inhuman demons depicted in films like the Blade trilogy (1998-2004) and the Underworld (2003–) franchise. Neither is there a lack of vampire parody, with the recent mockumentary What We Do in the Shadows (2014) being a particularly good example. The figure of the vampire has long roots and traditions, though some would argue that the vampire in its most recognisable manifestation was created by Bram Stoker in Count Dracula himself. Dracula is often conceived of as founding the vampire genre, and many do not know which works influenced its creation. These works are significant, yet they remain on the fringes and are not widely known, taught or published. Let me, therefore, introduce you to Varney the Vampire.

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The Gap in the Field: Critical Silence and Unpopular Materials

16th November 2016 | Robyn Pritzker.

From the moment fledgling researchers begin their independent work, the academic chorus rings out from all directions that their primary task is to find and fill in the various blanks spread throughout critical material. It is to contribute something new to scholarly discourse. Graduate students often struggle endlessly to find a way to make their work more unique, more interesting, and less like everyone else’s.

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