Graduation Year


Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Reader 1

Marissa Nicosia

Reader 2

S. Bhattacharya

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Rights Information

© 2015 Alexa N. Wei


This thesis paper gives a brief history of the vampire narrative and its role in representing the collective anxieties of an age as well as serving as a metaphor for oppressed peoples. It uses Bram Stoker’s Dracula and J. Sheridan le Fanu’s Carmilla as historical examples of how the vampire adapts to suit issues of the day such as reverse colonization and female sexuality, respectively. The latter part of this paper speculates on the future role of the vampire in literature and proposes that the vampire could be used to discuss transgender issues as well as challenge the gender binary. It addresses the suitability of the vampire narrative in particular for representing gender as a spectrum using the lenses of Foucault’s heterotopias, Kristeva’s abject, and Freud’s uncanny and pulls examples of early evidence of this trend from Anne Rice’s Vampire Chronicles.