The Undead and the Living God: How 19th Century Vampire Literature Participates in the Epistemological Discourse of the Victorian Era

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An investigation into how 19th century vampire literature reveals the evolving religious beliefs of 19th century Britain. This presentation will examine Polidori’s “The Vampyre,” Le Fanu’s “Carmilla,” Stevenson’s “Olalla,” and Stoker’s Dracula in terms of the underlying religious beliefs revealed by how vampires are depicted in each story. Žižek’s concept of belief before belief will also be used to understand how practice and belief interact in these texts. Using these explorations, it will then be possible to draw conclusions about how and why vampire fiction has experienced windfalls in the 19th and now the late 20th and early 21st centuries.



Greenblatt, New historicism, Zizek, Bram Stoker, Epistemology, Vampires, The Vampyre, Olalla, Carmilla, Dracula, Victorian Era, Characters from Literature, English Thesis