Aliens and Vampires
Stories serve a number of purposes that go well beyond simple entertainment. Stories tell us who we are, they help us to transmit our culture and our values, and they offer a forum in which we work out our more difficult questions and problems. In this course, we will investigate the alien and vampire genres. What is it about these particular stories and characters that captivates our imagination? Why is it that we’ll see a long run of a particular genre during a particular time period, and what do those stories tell us about the culture, the sociopolitical environment, or the issues of that time?
This course will look at a range of stories within the alien and vampire genres and will include both written and cinematic texts. Some examples of the works we’ll investigate include Dracula, I am Legend, and Blade alongside Contact, Alien, and Star Trek. Students should be prepared to read two full length novels and a short story during the semester, as well as to participate in writing and critical discussions about the stories. A detailed analytical paper will serve as the final exam for the course.