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God is (un)dead: religion and identity in post-9/11 vampire narratives

God is (un)dead: religion and identity in post-9/11 vampire narratives
God is (un)dead: religion and identity in post-9/11 vampire narratives
Cultural narratives have long played a valuable role in mediating difficult and politically sensitive topics. Investing metaphorical tropes with cultural significance offers audiences the opportunity to consider new perspectives and prompt important discussions. One of these tropes that has become ever more prominent in the last decade is that of the vampire. This thesis is concerned with the questions of how the figure of the vampire is used in modern narratives, and how it has changed from previous incarnations, particularly in American narratives. The rise of the modern vampire coincides with the aftermath of 9/11 and it is this link that is primarily explored here.

Through an examination of three texts, Being Human, True Blood and The Strain, these chapters construct an argument for the vampire as a key figure in post-9/11 narratives and imbued with a religious significance. Being Human establishes the difference between the UK and US interpretation of the figure through a direct comparison of an original series and its American remake. This highlights the religious aspect to the figure, along with reinforcing the Americanisation of the vampire, discussed in relation to the series. With this established, the argument moves on to True Blood, looking at patriotism, terrorism and the presentation of the ‘other’ onscreen in the series. Particularly, it posits the vampire in True Blood as being representative of the Muslim other, providing a unique method for discussing post-9/11 issues of religion and identity. The argument then moves on to looking at The Strain, which presents a more explicit link between vampires and 9/11, and argues for a need for narratives that do this. By looking at theoretical research on the issues raised in the texts, particularly those of trauma and faith, it highlights a change in perspectives. Ultimately, the exploration of these texts shows a valuable use of the vampire in working through the trauma of 9/11, a need for an American vampire and the importance of religion (in its many forms) in cultural narratives.
Wilkins, Christina
bb22415c-d988-4950-8565-d4df104b3a0b
Wilkins, Christina
bb22415c-d988-4950-8565-d4df104b3a0b
Williams, Linda
91aca12f-be12-40d8-a15b-b1e22d90d66b
Jordan, James
b4bf9915-44c8-45da-823b-7f2627f33e55

(2015) God is (un)dead: religion and identity in post-9/11 vampire narratives. University of Southampton, Faculty of Humanities, Doctoral Thesis, 233pp.

Record type: Thesis (Doctoral)

Abstract

Cultural narratives have long played a valuable role in mediating difficult and politically sensitive topics. Investing metaphorical tropes with cultural significance offers audiences the opportunity to consider new perspectives and prompt important discussions. One of these tropes that has become ever more prominent in the last decade is that of the vampire. This thesis is concerned with the questions of how the figure of the vampire is used in modern narratives, and how it has changed from previous incarnations, particularly in American narratives. The rise of the modern vampire coincides with the aftermath of 9/11 and it is this link that is primarily explored here.

Through an examination of three texts, Being Human, True Blood and The Strain, these chapters construct an argument for the vampire as a key figure in post-9/11 narratives and imbued with a religious significance. Being Human establishes the difference between the UK and US interpretation of the figure through a direct comparison of an original series and its American remake. This highlights the religious aspect to the figure, along with reinforcing the Americanisation of the vampire, discussed in relation to the series. With this established, the argument moves on to True Blood, looking at patriotism, terrorism and the presentation of the ‘other’ onscreen in the series. Particularly, it posits the vampire in True Blood as being representative of the Muslim other, providing a unique method for discussing post-9/11 issues of religion and identity. The argument then moves on to looking at The Strain, which presents a more explicit link between vampires and 9/11, and argues for a need for narratives that do this. By looking at theoretical research on the issues raised in the texts, particularly those of trauma and faith, it highlights a change in perspectives. Ultimately, the exploration of these texts shows a valuable use of the vampire in working through the trauma of 9/11, a need for an American vampire and the importance of religion (in its many forms) in cultural narratives.

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Published date: September 2015
Organisations: University of Southampton, English

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 388834
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/388834
PURE UUID: ee075284-dba4-484d-bded-9f62ab19b124

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Date deposited: 07 Mar 2016 11:48
Last modified: 16 Dec 2018 05:01

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