my Black Vampires course

Posted by Giselle Anatol on January 06, 2010 in Guest Blog, Prof Giselle Anatol tagged with

I know my December guest blog period is over, but end-of-semester grading and holiday travel got the best of me!  I wanted to submit one more entry–a description and text list of a graduate seminar I taught on vampire literature–and ask for comments and suggestions for teaching this course in the future.  Thank you! 

Course Title: Vampire Literature of the African Diaspora

Description:  "Soucouyant go’ come for you"– this phrase chills Caribbean children raised on the folk stories of a diabolical creature who appears as an old, wrinkled woman by day, but then at night sheds her skin, flies about the community, and sucks the blood of her unsuspecting neighbors. This course will begin by interrogating the intersecting gender and race messages conveyed by the legend. We will then examine some conventional vampire literature, and finally move on to consider how people of the African diaspora have appropriated vampire tales to suit their artistic, social, and political goals.

Semester Reading Schedule (primary texts):

excerpts from Gerard Besson, tales from Folklore and Legends of Trinidad & Tobago

excerpts from Nancy Rhyme, ed., Slave Ghost Stories: Tales of Hags, Haints, Ghosts, & Diamondback Rattlers

Bram Stoker, Dracula

Luise White, Speaking with Vampires

Blacula [film]

Ganja and Hess [film]

Vampire in Brooklyn [film]

Blade [film]

Jewelle Gomez, The Gilda Stories

Octavia Butler, Fledgling

Nalo Hopkinson, Brown Girl in the Ring [novel] and "Greedy Choke Puppy" [short story]

Edwidge Danticat, "Nineteen Thirty-Seven" [short story]

Lorene Cary, Black Ice [memoir]

Tessa McWatt, Out of My Skin  [or David Chariandy’s Soucouyant]


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