HISTART 393-101

Spring 2017
Undergraduate Seminar: Dracula and His After Images in Art and Cinema

180 Tappan
TTh 10:00-1:00pm
3 Credit Seminar

Dracula has been a mainstay of films, TV shows, plays, novels, and comic books for decades. The modern fascination with Dracula began in the 1920s and '30s with the appearance of plays and movies based on Bram Stoker's eponymous novel, first published in 1897. The events described in Stoker's Dracula take place in fin-de-siècle London and Transylvania, and the novel makes only loose historical references to its fifteenth-century namesake: Vlad III Dracula (1431-c. 1476), prince of Wallachia. But its massive popularity had the effect of generating considerable curiosity about the prince himself, his brutal reign, and the historical context in which he lived.

This course focuses on visual and textual representations of Vlad III Dracula from the mid-fifteenth century to the present. The materials under consideration include paintings, prints, drawings, manuscript illuminations, and architecture, as well as recent movies, novels, and cartoons. Our objectives are to examine the ways in which these representations have fashioned Vlad's likeness and reputation over the course of three centuries—and to evaluate the degree to which multiple reinterpretations of this complex historical figure have inflected twentieth- and twenty-first-century renditions of Dracula and his vampire subculture.

Requirements: attendance and participation (30%), 4 quizzes (20%), short written assignment (15%), oral presentation (10%), final research paper (25%)

Estimated cost of materials: Under $50.

HISTART Distribution Categories: D. Europe and the US; 3. Early Modern or 4. Modern and Contemporary.