CFP Open Graves, Open Minds: Vampires and the Undead in Modern Culture (Edited Volume and Special Journal Issue)

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University of Hertfordshire
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CFP Open Graves, Open Minds: Vampires and the Undead in Modern Culture (Edited Volume and Special Journal Issue)

The irony of creatures with no reflection becoming such a pervasive reflection of modern culture pleases in a dark way. Since their animation out of folk materials in the nineteenth century, by Polidori, as Varney and in Le Fanu and Stoker, vampires have been continually reborn in modern culture. They have stalked texts from Marx's image of the leeching capitalist, through Pater's Lady Lisa of tainted knowledge, to the multifarious incarnations in contemporary fictions in print and on screen. They have enacted a host of anxieties and desires, shifting shape as the culture they are brought to life in itself changes form. More recently, their less charismatic undead cousins, zombies, have been dug up in droves to represent various fears and crises in contemporary culture.

Essays are sought for a book-length collection on the theme of the undead—vampires and zombies—in modern culture and for a parallel special journal issue. The aim of the book is to relate the undead in literature, art, and other media to questions concerning gender, technology, consumption, and social change. It will examine these creatures in all their various manifestations and cultural meanings. This is a continuation of the research project initiated by the 'Open Graves, Open Minds: Vampires and the Undead in Modern Culture' conference, held at the University of Hertfordshire, UK, in April 2010. The volume will be published in 2012 and launched as part of the celebrations to mark the centenary of Bram Stoker's death.

Possible topics may include (but are not limited to) the following:

• sexuality and the (living or undead) body
• identity politics
• Goth culture and the undead
• new technologies
• the metaphor of reflection
• celluloid vampires: adaptations and incarnations
• teen vampire/zombie fiction
• undead TV
• blood, money, and circulation
• parasitism, production, and consumption
• decomposition and decadence
• the Undead as Other (nationality, class, gender, etc.)
• vampiric art and/or the artist as vampire
• Marx and the vampire

As the book is intended, in part, to be a reader for a new MA programme on 'Reading the Vampire: Science, Sexuality and Alterity in Modern Culture' we also seek chapters that discuss the following texts:

• John Polidori, The Vampyre
• Early vampire plays including Charles Nodier, The Vampire and James Robinson Plance, The Vampire, or the Bride of the Islands
• James Malcolm Rymer, Varney the Vampire, or The Feast of Blood, Book one
• Sheridan Le Fanu, Carmilla
• Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Grey
• Bram Stoker, Dracula
• George Sylvester Viereck, The House of Vampire
• Anne Rice, Interview with the Vampire
• Joss Whedon, Buffy, the Vampire Slayer
• Stephanie Meyer, Twilight
• Marcus Sedgwick, My Swordhand is Singing
• Daniel Waters, Generation Dead

Other chapters that complement this programme may be included but will also certainly be considered for the companion journal special issue. Some excellent papers were presented at the conference but additional proposals are sought eagerly. Both new and established scholars will be included.

Please submit abstracts of 800-900 words together with a brief biographical statement (200 words) by December 1, 2010 to Sam George ( and Bill Hughes ( You should include your contact details (email address, postal address and phone number) and send your contribution as an attachment in MSWord format. Completed essays of 6000-8000 words will be due by March 2011.