Vampires in the New World

by Louis H. Palmer


As a persistent figure in 20th and 21st-century American culture, the vampire has served as a medium to express our fears, desires, and anxieties about our place in the world, in nature, and in society. The character of the vampire is intrinsically associated with concepts of immortality, religion, morality, and sexuality—all of which serve to make stories about these mythic beings compelling to us.

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Cover image for Vampires in the New World

February 2013


Pages 176
Volumes 1
Size 6 1/8x9 1/4
Topics Popular Culture/General

This book provides an engaging historical survey of the vampire in American popular culture over 100 years, ranging from Bram Stoker's classic novel Dracula to HBO's television series True Blood.

Vampires in the New World surveys vampire films and literature from both national and historical perspectives since the publication of Bram Stoker's Dracula, providing an overview of the changing figure of the vampire in America. It focuses on such essential popular culture topics as pulp fiction, classic horror films, film noir, science fiction, horror fiction, blaxploitation, and the recent Twilight and True Blood series in order to demonstrate how cultural, scientific, and ideological trends are reflected and refracted through the figure of the vampire.

The book will fascinate anyone with an interest in vampires as they are found in literature, film, television, and popular culture, as well as readers who appreciate horror and supernatural fiction, crime fiction, science fiction, and the gothic. It will also appeal to those who are interested in the interplay between society and film, television, and popular culture, and to readers who want to understand why the figure of the vampire has remained compelling to us across different eras and generations.


  • Focuses attention on the vampire as a figure and explores the ways in which they have been used by authors and readers to examine and illuminate changing cultural interests and anxieties
  • Utilizes the tools of literary history to look at cinematic, televised, and other deployments of the vampire figure as expressions of contemporary culture
  • Provides readers with the perspective to fit current vampire stories into a larger context, gaining an understanding of the unique history of the vampire in America
  • Identifies connections between current and past interests in the vampire, tracing the development of vampire stories, figures, and images in popular culture throughout the history of the United States
Author Info

Louis H. Palmer, PhD, is associate professor in the English department at Castleton State College, Castleton, VT. He received his doctorate from Syracuse University, a master's degree from Appalachian State University, and a master of education degree from Converse College. Palmer is gothic area chair for the Popular Culture Association and a member of the editorial board of the Journal of Popular Culture. His published work includes articles on Southern and Appalachian literature and on William Faulkner.

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