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Timed for Halloween, our five-week course is devoted to vampire narratives of the last 200 years

Course dates: Thursdays 27 October and 3, 10, 17, 24 November

Times: 18.00 – 20.00

‘Dearest, your little heart is wounded; think me not cruel because I obey the irresistible law of my strength and weakness’ says Sheridan Le Fanu’s Carmilla to her fascinated victim. Seductive yet repellent, ancient yet new, the vampire is a creature of contradictions – hero, villain and victim all in one. An accomplished crosser of thresholds, the vampire has travelled from the page to the stage, and to screens both big and small.

In this courses we’ll consider the vampire’s victims – those who are ‘innocent’, those who are negligent, and those who are made complicit by their confused and confusing desires. We’ll also discuss the often strangely unattractive characters who are the vampire’s would-be destroyers, the hinterlands they inhabit and the instruction manuals they take with them.  And, of course, we’ll be looking at vampires themselves, following their transformations through time and across a variety of genres and media.  Amongst those making an appearance will be vampires male and female; Byronic heroes; femmes fatales; the mixed-race vampires of Victorian fiction; vampires who threaten the very psychic survival of their all-too-willing victims; and (a more recent development) comic vampires.

This course is convened by Dr Emma McEvoy (University of Westminster). Contributors include Dr Stacey Abbott (University of Roehampton), Dr Catherine Spooner (Lancaster University), Professor Alexandra Warwick (University of Westminster), and British Library curator Greg Buzwell.

Read the course outline

Adult Learning Courses at the British Library

Our courses are aimed at anyone interested in developing their personal interests and passions. Deepen your engagement with a wide range of topics and use our world-renowned collections to inspire your own creativity. We’ll bring you together with Library experts and guest specialists, providing a unique learning experience.  

Multi-session courses offer high-quality, in-depth learning experiences that encourage discussion with both experts and fellow learners. To make sure you get the most from your time with us, we limit class sizes to 16 participants.

So if you want to develop fresh perspectives with leading thinkers or create with contemporary artists, our new programme is the place to start.


Name: Vampires
Where: Harry M Weinrebe Learning Centre
The British Library
96 Euston Road
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When: -
Enquiries: +44 (0)1937 546546