Project Setup

Hi again, blog readers. Alright, this blog will give you a bit more info on the setup of my project. Particularly, the three main sections that constitute my project, the “subgenres” of teen vampire culture, and explanation of some of the basic information Ive learned about each of them over the course of my studies (more info on the specifics of each will be provided next time).

Part 1: Buffy the Vampire Slayer: the bildungsroman vampire. I actually gave Buffy the Vampire Slayer credit as its own subgenre of vampire culture, because it predates what we call our current vampire craze. Buffy the Vampire slayer proved rather unique in its treatment of gender roles and its treatment of vampires. Whereas, traditionally, vampires serve as a either a type of seductive figure or a mythic “boogieman figure, Buffy turns vampires into just another monster to be vanquished, to be slayed. This reaffirms Buffy’s identity as a type of heroic, feminist figure. Unlike traditional vampire heroines of lore, she does not lose her identity through being seduced by vampires; rather she reaffirms her identity in her slaying of the vampiric menace.

Part two: The vampiric Gothic: This is probably the most controversial of the teen vampire genres. In the teen vampire Gothic, we witness an archaic use of both gender roles and vampires, to craft the ultimate tale of female escapism. The heroines of the teen vampire genre descend from the gothic heroines of the 1800’s, heroines who typically, in the words of Diane Haeger, embody a type of “professional victimization.” These heroines, typically sweet virgins who find themselves at the mercy of evil villains, find a modern manifestation in Bella Swann of Twilight and Elena of the Vampire Diaries

Embedded into Gothic narratives is an ontology of violence, of violation, of forbidden sexual desires rising to the fore and overwhelming the passive heroine of the story. The vampire hero, modeled after the Byronic figure, typically steps outside the boundaries of society in some way, serving as an outlet for the woman to find escape and acceptance outside the boundaries of her social milieu. He serves to liberate the heroine’s dark desires from her unconscious, letting her indulge in her shadow side. This entire ontology often meets with disapproval from most of society, as it typically relies on an archaic perception of women, placing them in the role of damsel in distress, and seems to encourage sexual violence against young women.

Part three: The third vampire subgenre is what I term the “noveau vampire” genre. It basically reappropriates many of the qualities of the gothic and the bildungsroman vampire genre, and mixes them to create new versions of the vampire story. The noveau vampire genre came into popular demand after the rise of Twilight. Vampires became the “in thing” among many supernatural teen fiction writers, and vampires were welded onto several well-known subgenres of teen fiction. For example, the series Blue Bloods, by Melissa de la Cruz, inserts vampires into a Gossip Girl type world, where the heroine, Schuyler Van Alen, must fight to fit into the world of high society New York vampires.

Alright, thats all for now, but Ill be posting some more blog posts this week about some of the specifics of my research. Until then, enjoy.