Queer Fear: Vampirism and the Transmittable Evil of Homoeroticism Open Access

Carmona, Carla (Spring 2021)

Permanent URL: https://etd.library.emory.edu/concern/etds/w3763804x?locale=en


The alluring vampire has consistently been one of media’s most resourceful monsters. As a human-monster hybrid, authors ascribe communal human fears to the vampiric figures—fears that often resort to villainizing the unknown or the dissenting. Vampires are often queer-coded individuals who transgress heteronormative hegemony. This queer-coding resulted in the vampire becoming a figure of excess and ultimately, the utilization of the vampire to communicate the fear of the queer. This thesis explores the intersection between queerness and vampirism. While vampirism can be a metaphor for the transgression of the status quo, the vampire’s grim fate invites speculation over queer-coding’s effectiveness—and ultimately, its intentions. To audiences, the lines between fiction and reality may blur. Therefore, the analysis of homophobic messages in vampiric fiction is necessary to understand why these tropes are employed. This thesis analyzes monumental vampiric texts, such as Dracula, Carmilla, and Interview with the Vampire to understand how each text’s manifestations of queerness mold narrative human fears. 

Table of Contents

Introduction: Queering the Vampire                                                                                            1

Chapter One: Dracula and the Fear of Penetration: the Plight of Jonathan Harker                   6

Chapter Two: The Sapphic Vampire Carmilla and the Queering of Lucy Westenra                  21

Chapter Three: Domesticating the Vampire: Interview with the Vampire and                         

the Subversion of the Nuclear Family                                                                                           40

Conclusion: Queer Fear: What Now?                                                                                           62

Bibliography                                                                                                                                 66

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