SCANDINAVIAN R5B, Section 2: Session A (May 28 – July 5): Vampires in Nordic Literature

TWTh 10-12:30 , Dwinelle 134. Instructor: Rue Taylor

Units: 4

While the vampire is not a traditionally Scandinavian monster, its presence has been felt in Nordic literature since the early 19th century. Initially the vampire’s entry into the North came via direct translations of major Gothic works from Britain and continental Europe, but by mid-century these traditional classics began to take on new life of their own through original works based on classic vampire narratives, but adapted to better suit a Scandinavian audience. In this course, we will read the three foundational vampire texts of Western literature—John Polidori’s “The Vampyre,” Sheridan La Fanu’s “Carmilla” and Bram Stoker’s Dracula. We will then look at their respective Nordic adaptations—Viktor Rydberg’s The Vampyre, John Ajvide Lindqvist’s Let the Right One In, and Valdimar Ásmundsson’s Powers of Darkness. By reading these adaptations against their originals, we will explore the changes undergone by the vampire upon crossing cultural and temporal boundaries, and how the creature can be read in order to 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 (Dover, ISBN: 978-0486454010)

Course Reader

Instructor pending appointment.

This course satisfies the second half or the “B” portion of the Reading and Composition requirement.
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.