Vampires: Their Historical Significance in Literature, Film, and Pop Culture NAMLE 2011 Philadelphia, PA 11 Dr. Sharon Pajka Dr. Jane Nickerson
IntroductionKuh, Kinzie, Schuh, and Whitts (2006) "unshakeable focus on student learning" encourages us to reflect on our teaching strategies to ensure that we are experimenting with engaging pedagogies and challenging students to perform at high standards.Gallaudet University• the only Liberal Arts university in the world for Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing students• Our integrated course which is part of the school’s Identity and Culture Learning Outcome focuses on enabling students to understand complex social identities, including the deaf identity in the 1975 film Deafula, and the interrelations within and among diverse cultures and groups. It is never just about the vampire!
Vampires & Critical Pedagogy Vampires & Critical Pedagogy•Engages students in analyses of the unequal powerrelations, and it aims to help students develop tools that willenable them to challenge this inequality (McLaren 163)•Classroom as a site for social change
Visual Literacy -• We focus on visual literacy which helps students interpret, negotiate, and make meaning from information presented in images.
Vampires- our focusVampirism in verbal and visual culture Various historical periods and culturesVampire lore-->rich focus for textual analysis Themes--death, disease, social class, & sexuality Reading selections focus on vampires from a variety of critical perspectives contextualize the works in the cultures that produced them, and understand their influence on society at large
“I never knew that throwingseeds down would stop avampire in his tracks. Sincethen, I have become obsessedthinking that some cool creatorsitting in the Sesame Streetstudio knew this and thoughtto include a vampire whocounts and is obsessed with it.”
Vampires & Student Engagement• Literature – Student lead discussions – From Demons to Dracula – “Carmilla” Sheridan Le Fanu – “Dracula’s Guest,” Bram Stoker – I am Legend, “Drink My Red Blood,” “No Such Thing as a Vampire,” and “The Funeral” Richard Matheson – “The Master of Rampling Gate,” Anne Rice – 30 Days of Night (graphic novel)
Vampires in Films• Film Studies – Nosferatu, 1922 – Dracula, (Bela Lugosi), 1931 – Deafula, 1975 – Shadow of the Vampire, 2001 – 30 Days of Night, 2007 – I Am Legend, 2007 – Let the Right One In, 2008 – “Hush” Buffy The Vampire Slayer
Student comments about films -• “The best movies are I Am Legend and Nosferatu because they differed from other movies we see today. I wonder if what happened in I Am Legend could happen today” (Sandra).• “The idea of vampires or diseases taking over the world gave us a whole new outlook on 2012. It impacted me how many people are serious about vampires when they are fictional” (Richard).
Deafula - 1975• Deafula is a film about Steve Adams who struggles with his two identities: as a Deaf man and a vampire in disguise. After 27 people in town have been killed, two detectives focus on the murders and determine that Steve Adams is the killer.• All of the characters in the film are Deaf and use American Sign Language (ASL).
Analyzing Deafula – student comment-• “I personally noticed a pattern of mirrors and reflections in the movie. There are many shots of these so I can’t help but feel it connects to Steve’s identity as a vampire. My argument is that many cultures have superstitions about mirrors, but often one common theme among mirrors is that they reflect our real souls, which includes identities” (Lisa).
“My favorite films include Nosferatu, Dracula, and I amLegend. Nosferatu and Dracula are classics and eversince they were made, other horror films have usedsome of their ideas. I am Legend took a novel writtenin 1954 and updated it for today’s audiences. I lovedWill Smith’s character in the film as I could “feel” hispain at times.”“The thing that had the most impacton me was Deafula. It is a coolfilm that shows how Peter Wolfenvisioned a Deaf vampire.Some of the ideas in that filmwere clever.”
Writing scripts and creating short filmsStudents wroteshort scripts andcreated“Interviews witha Vampire.”
Janna interviewed her “vampire” and created an old time look for her film.
Sandra uses her theatricalbackground when she interviews her vampire.
Sandra and her vampire are telling jokes intheir interview and at the end, the vampire lunges at Sandra to make her another victim.
Script writing and creating films• Students in our classes were able to – – Be Creative and Engaged – Write their scripts in English and make them visual using ASL.
Vampires in Pop Culture• Students were asked to find examples of vampires that show up in our popular culture. The following slides show the best examples students presented to our class.
Celebrating the Holidays Revenant Style byDonovanIf Santa were a vampire... (5)
Vampire Themed Restaurants, Andrea Amati Vampire Café – Tokyo, Japan• Waitresses - French maids, waiters – gothic butlers• A mix of Italian, French, Japanese cuisines• Blood is splattered all over floors• Booths covered with red velvet drapes http://mariannem.blogspot.com/2008/06/tokyo-night-two-vampire-cafe.html
Bram Stoker Tavern – London, England• Toilets that are reached through a secret door in a fake bookcase• Dracula themed barhttp://members.tripod.com/horror_guide/resteurope.html
Successfully Achieving our Course Goals• In our course students who are engaged learners – – Use media and visual images when they ask questions and explain ideas about vampires. – Reflect on how various forms of media use vampires. – Critically think as they create short films using vampire themes. – Create presentations based on some of the media messages they have seen.