The Road to Dracula: or the World as Disappointment and Representation

deadline for submissions: 
August 1, 2020
full name / name of organization: 
Universitas Press

Published at the height of the imperial enterprise, Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1897) has a long and intricate backstory. It is, in fact, the result of centuries of British discovery of and disappointment with the world. One by one, naturalists, amateur anthropologists, merchants, soldiers, diplomats or missionaries from the British Isles discovered the world for the armchair travelers at home and built up their self-esteem by disfiguring countries and regions in writings, paintings, and lectures at the Royal Geographical Society. Stoker’s vampire novel encompasses well-established tropes these entrepreneurs employed all over the world, while Transylvania is one of the last unknown, “savage” places to the ordinary British citizen, and in dire need of a corrective intervention.

Building on the works of Said, Pratt, Todorova, Bhabha and other postcolonial theorists, this volume aims at breaking the confines of geography. We are looking for papers discussing one or more travelers and the way they represented various cultures in their works. These can be centered on one or more regions anywhere in the world, on one or more genres or forms of expression (travelogues, memoirs, letters, diaries, sermons, drawings, paintings, architecture, legal writing, etc.) from the Renaissance to 1897, Anno Dracula.

Papers should explore the ways in which the land, the people, and the local culture are disfigured, misinterpreted, and where the monstrous insinuates itself in various guises, i.e., local traditions, religious beliefs, superstitions, etc. Moreover, papers should focus on the ways in which the local context – historical, political, cultural – is ignored and where these travelers called for, supported, or suggested corrective measure and the intervention of the Empire. Equally important are those travelers who found it necessary to teach the natives a lesson in manners, obedience, and the superiority of the British civilisation.

Proposals for the volume should be emailed to Cristina Artenie ( by August 1st, 2020.

Completed manuscripts of 15-25 pages MLA-style, Times New Roman 12, double spaced, with footnotes and works cited should submitted by October 15, 2020.

Tentative publication date, spring 2021, by Universitas Press.

Dr. Cristina Artenie is the author of Dracula: A Study of Editorial Practices (2016) and Dracula Invades England (2015); the editor of Gothic and Racism (2015); and co-editor of Dracula: The Postcolonial Edition (2016) and Monsters & Monstrosity in 21st-Century Film and Television (2017).