From Carmilla to Drusilla: Vampires Across Popular Culture

deadline for submissions: 
February 15, 2018
full name / name of organization: 
Seton Hill University
contact email: 

Call For Papers: International Vampire Film and Arts Festival  - 7-10 June 2018

The third annual International Vampire Film and Arts Festival will take place in Sighisoara in Transylvania, Romania, on June 7th-10th, 2018. To celebrate their popular fiction dual degree collaboration, WRITE TOGETHER--in which students earn an MA studying at Edinburgh Napier University for one year, then transition to a low residency program to earn their MFA from Seton Hill University--faculty from both universities are teaming up to curate this year’s exciting call for papers.

Keynote Speaker:CHRISTOPHER GOLDEN (bestselling author of Buffy the Vampire Slayer - The Watcher's Guide, Of Saints and Shadows, Ararat, Seize the Night, & more)

Sponsoring Faculty: Dr. Michael Arnzen and Nicole Peeler (Seton Hill University)

Mr. David Bishop and Ms. Laura Lam (Edinburgh Napier University)


Conference Theme: From Carmilla to Drusilla: Vampires Across Popular Culture

The IVFAF, in association with Seton Hill University and Edinburgh Napier University, calls for papers by scholars interested in presenting their researched essays on vampire literature and film in the academic symposium that runs alongside the festival in Transylvania.

We will divide this year’s academic symposium into two days of programming:

  • One day will be devoted to situating the vampire as a figure of fascination across popular culture.

  • One day will focus on the vampires of Joss Whedon's Buffy the Vampire Slayer universe, including its many spin-offs and tie-ins and source materials.  

The significance of the "Buffyverse” (which in 2017 celebrated its 20th Anniversary since first airing on television) will be emphasized in this second day.  While drawing from an original 1992 horror comedy film, the quirky YA television series developed the characters and the supernatural world of Sunnydale into a long-running series (and a popular spin-off, Angel), generating a cult following that continues to this day in comics, novels, and more.

Both sessions invite papers in genre theory & history, popular fiction, media culture, television theory, adaptation, comic studies, the transformative arts and other areas of film, literary and cultural studies in order to explore and expand the significance of both the vampire, in general, as well as the "Buffyverse," in popular culture and around the world.   

Proposals for single 20-minute papers or pre-constituted panels (of 3 x 20-minute papers) on the conference theme are now welcomed from scholars.  Possible topics for the first day may include (but are not limited to) the following:

+The Impact of Popular Culture or Non‐Gothic Genres on Dracula, Varney, Carmilla and Other Classic Vampire Texts

+Vampire Fiction as Subgenre (Comedies, Romances, YA literature, Graphic Novels)

+The Vampire’s Role in Genre Evolution

+The Vampire as Metaphor

+Vampires as Signs of Cultural Change

+The Popular Vampire in the Literary Mainstream

+The Evolution of Sex and Religion in Vampire Literature

+The Influence of Cinema on Literary Vampires (and vice‐versa)

+Vampiric Tropes in Social Networking, Internet Memes and New Media Culture

+Popular Vampire Fiction/Film in the Non‐Western World

+Pedagogical Applications of Popular Vampire Texts

+Gender and the vampire and/or the vampire hunter

+Vampires and the depiction of alternative sexualities

+Other Cultural Studies Applications of the Vampire Icon


And possible topics for the second day may include (but are not limited) to the following:

+ The Impact of historical vampire literature (Dracula, Varney, Carmilla etc.) on the Buffyverse.

+ Cultural themes in Joss Whedon's work.

+ Buffy's influence on contemporary vampire cinema or YA literature.

+ Gender issues and sexuality  in Joss Whedon's Buffyverse.

+ Spike, Angel and vampiric masculinity.

+ Fan Culture and the Buffy series.

+ Buffy in Social Networking, Internet Memes and New Media Culture

+ Teaching with Buffy

+ Generation X and Millennial Audience Receptions of Buffy

+Is Buffy feminist?


A particular desire will be to select papers that examine the vampire in Young Adult literature and teen dramas, which would offer a wider context for situating Buffy scholarship or otherwise expanding our scholarly understanding of the appeal of the vampire in youth culture. We also want to support undergraduate scholarship: any current UG students interested in attending IVFAF would be eligible for special, 10-15 minute presentation panels to facilitate their participation in an international conference at the undergraduate level.

Submit abstracts (500 words maximum) via email only to no later than February 15th, 2018.  If submitting a full panel proposal, include all three proposals along with a summary statement (50 words maximum) of the panel's title and central topic written by the moderator.  Acceptance of a proposal is a commitment to present a finished written paper in a talk lasting approximately 20 minutes.  Accepted submitters must confirm their commitment to travel, attend and present their own original work at the conference in Sighisoara, Romania. Presenters must register by purchasing an Academic Delegate ticket.

For more information on conference registration and location, visit