SCANDINAVIAN R5B, Section 1: Vampires and the Supernatural in Scandinavian Literature

TuTh 8-9:30 , 189 Dwinelle. Instructor: Rosie Taylor

Units: 4

All Reading & Composition courses must be taken for a letter grade in order to fulfill this requirement for the Bachelor’s Degree. This course satisfies the second half or the “B” portion of the Reading and Composition requirement.


While the vampire is not a traditionally Scandinavian monster, its presence has been felt in Nordic literature since the early 19th century, thanks to translations of major Gothic works from Britain and continental Europe. We will begin this course by getting a feel for the development of the vampire in Western literature by way of landmark British texts, including John Polidori’s “The Vampyre,” Sheridan La Fanu’s “Carmilla” and Bram Stoker’s Dracula. The second part of the course will shift to Scandinavia and its own form of the Gothic genre to explore the changes undergone by the vampire upon crossing cultural and temporal boundaries, and how the creature can be employed to better understand social anxieties and issues in the Nordic countries up to the modern day.

The aim of this course is to help students further their skills in reading, analysis and composition, and to feel more confident participating in existing academic debates. The semester will culminate in a research project designed for students to learn how to find, analyze and engage with secondary sources at the university level.

Bram Stoker, Dracula (Vintage Classics, ISBN: 978-0099582595)
Course Reader

Prerequisite:  Successful completion of the “A” portion of the Reading & Composition requirement or its equivalent.  Students may not enroll in nor attend R1B/R5B courses without completing this prerequisite.