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Monthly Archives: September 2012

One of my fellow Graduate Teaching Assistants said in jest yesterday, “I know modern poetry. Erin knows teaching. And Barry knows vampires” (this is close to what she originally said, but it might be slightly different). Although this statement was said within a context of teaching, t states an inherent truth about my interests in the academic realms. I like monsters and the creatures that haunt the collective imaginations of society and the cultural contexts that surround said figures. Vampires just happen to be my favorite creature to examine (with zombies coming in a close second).

Why vampires? Ever since I was a child of eight and saw Bram Stoker’s Dracula appear on Fox, I have been intrigued by vampires. Gary Oldman making his way down the side of the castle to meet with his wolves sticks in my mind as my first experience with vampires. However, after reading Dracula at age 9, I realized that there was something there that was both scary and intriguing… and I was hooked. From reading Anne Rice’s Vampire Chronicles and other vampire novels / novellas / short stories to watching movies and television shows featuring vamps prominently, I was the one other people talked about being a little odd because I loved these creatures of the night. I even did my senior thesis in undergrad over Dracula and Frankenstein and looked at the monsters in them and what cultural phenomenon they stood for.

By Work Projects Administration Federal Art Project, California [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Now, they are a constant in my life. Books of vampire critical theory and books about other vampires fill my bookshelves and my kindle library. And I even still get to write stories about them (my novel I’m working on has vampires in it… not the Twilight-y kind though…) and papers (I’m actually about to present a conference paper on Pam from Charlaine Harris’s Southern Vampires Mysteries and HBO’s True Blood).
So I guess I will take that I’m the vampire guy with a flair of my cape (I wish I had a cool cape… but this is more of a metaphoric one) and a maniacal chuckle into the night. Better than just being a creepy guy… right?