Date of Award

Spring 4-26-2015

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

Department

English

First Advisor

James Carson

Abstract

No monster has changed over time as much as the vampire, from its haunting presence in Gothic horror to its romantic heroism in contemporary teen romance. Because of the vampire’s history as a marker of non-normative sexuality, such changes are interconnected to changing cultural perceptions of queerness. Through an examination of Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1897), Anne Rice’s Interview with the Vampire (1976) and The Vampire Lestat (1985), Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight Saga (2005-2008), and the HBO series True Blood (2008-2014), this paper reads the vampire diachronically against several distinct moments in queer history — the invention of homosexuality, the Stonewall Riots, the AIDS crisis, and the marriage equality debate — in order to understand the interconnectedness of monstrosity and those the monster represents. With particular attention to gender, speech, performativity, and assimilation, this examination explores the ways in which monstrosity is constructed as a reaction to cultural expectations and values, and the ways in which identity is both created and destabilized by discourses of monstrosity.

Share

COinS