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    Professor Shows Class Where Jane Austen and Vampires Meet Up

    Oct 22, 2010

    The vampire myth is alive and well, no pun intended.

    The number of blood sucking creatures in movies and books keeps increasing every year. Sometimes the vampires are teenagers struggling with teen romance, seen in "Twilight". Others, such as the girl in the soon to be released "Let Me In", struggle to survive while keeping a secret. And to the delight of many (and the horror of others), vampires have even flown into Jane Austen's classic novels.

    Amy Smith, a professor at University of the Pacific and an expert in both vampires and Jane Austen, will be teaching a two-day course offered by the Center for Professional and Continuing Education at University of the Pacific on Nov. 13 and 14. The course, titled "Living Dead: Vampires in Film and Fiction," is open to the community and can be taken for college credit.

    "The vampire has really resonated in film and literature because the vampire is probably the most sinister and yet human-like evil creature in modern literature, because they can look like us and trick us into becoming victims" Smith said. "The vampire myth is so well known, though, that it no longer just appears in horror films and novels. Vampires are now subjected to slapstick comedy, teen romance, and even the pre-Victorian world of Jane Austen."

    During the class the legend of vampires and what has kept them alive and the different ways they have been reborn over the last 20 years, including in Jane Austen's novels, will be discussed. Several films, including "Blade", "Bram Stoker's Dracula" and "Interview with a Vampire", will be viewed and discussed. Smith will also discuss what the current fascination with vampires tells us about ourselves and our culture.

    Two weeks before the class begins Smith will address the Jane Austen Society of North America at a national conference in Portland, Oregon on the recent emergence of vampires and other creatures in new versions of Jane Austen's classics novels. Smith expects a lot of discussion on the topic. She says "Lots of true Janeites are horrified about monsters invading Austenland".

    The class will look at the many variations of the vampire film and will include watching several vampire movies. The course will cost $158 for credit and $108 for non-credit and is open to anyone that would like to learn more about the many variations of the vampire in film and literature.

     For more information, or to register visit http://www.pacific.edu/x31366.xml. Registration can also be done by phone by calling 209.946.2424.