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Mary Neuburger, Director BUR 452, 2505 University Avenue, Stop F3600, Austin, TX 78712 • 512-471-3607

Fall 2005

SLA 301 • Vampire In Slavic Cultures

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
45300 TTh
12:30 PM-2:00 PM
UTC 3.124

Course Description

Eight hundred years before Bram Stoker gave us the West's most memorable vampire in his novel Dracula and long before the exploits of Vlad "the Impaler" Tepes horrified Europe, the Russian Primary Chronicles tell of a Novgorodian prince as Upyr' Lichyj, or Wicked Vampire. The Slavic and Balkan worlds abound in histories, legends, myths and literary portraits of the so-called un-dead, creatures which draw life out of the living.

This course examines the vampire in the history and cultures of Russia, the Balkans and Central and Eastern Europe, including manifestations in literature, religion, art, film and common practices. Texts - both print and non-print media, both Slavic and non-Slavic  will be drawn from Russian, Czech, Slovak, Bulgarian, Hungarian, Romany, Serbian and Croatian sources. Participants will be asked to separate historical fact from popular fiction (where possible!), and form opinions about the place and importance of the vampire in Slavic and other Central European cultures. The course is conducted in English. No knowledge of Russian required, though readings in Russian and other Slavic languages are available for majors and concentrators in the field.

Grading Policy

Short essay I (5 pp.) 20% Midterm exam 20% Short essay II (5 pp.) 20% Text journal 20% Final exam 20%


The Darkling: A Treatise on Slavic Vampirism. Jan L. Perkowski, Columbus, OH: Slavica Publishers, 1989. [photocopy] The Vampire Casebook, Alan Dundes, Madison, WI: University of Wisconsin Press, 1998. Packet of readings Recommended Text Blood Read: The Vampire as Metaphor in Contemporary Culture, Joan Gordon and Veronica Hollinger, eds., Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1997.


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