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The University of Southampton
Lifelong Learning

Dracula, Frankenstein and the Cultural Legacy: The Monster in Culture

Dracula by Bram Stoker and Frankenstein by Mary Shelley have become iconic monsters. These two novels have been widely read and, very soon after their publication, were adapted for the stage. The performances proved very popular. From the early days of cinema these two fictional monsters have thrilled and terrified audiences.

Bram Stoker's Dracula
Bram Stoker's Dracula

This course will begin by looking at monsters from the past and will examine what lies behind the fascination monsters held and continue to hold in our imaginations. It will move on to explore ways in which, in more recent manifestations, Gothic narratives are able to communicate and reflect contemporary social issues involving religion, sexuality, racial tensions and concepts of ‘otherness.’

The course will move from the earlier Gothic monsters to examine their cultural legacy in the present day. It will assess how the current cultural fascination with monsters indicates contemporary fears and desires, incorporating the questioning of current attitudes to religious beliefs, ethical considerations and issues of identity. We will examine recent films such as Interview with a Vampire and Blade, television drama serials such as True Blood and Being Human and recent literature such as The Strain and Twilight in the light of ways in which the line between good and evil has become steadily more blurry; we will explore how and why this is the case.


Date: Thursday evenings, starting 10 October 2013
Time: 7 - 9 pm
Duration: 12 meetings


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