Recently, we opened up the digital doors of Signum University. Our Folkloric Transformations class this semester is treating the theme of Vampires and Big Bad Wolves. The transformation of vampire folklore and superstition into folktales, novels, films and television, and popular culture gives us a huge library to browse through in the course. A colleague and I each took an opportunity to tackle some great topics that come out of our studies and teaching.
Dr. Maggie Parke, an expert on how texts work in the world, did a session on “Adaptations and Fandoms” (video included below). It was a very cool lecture and discussion time.
What I decided to do for my out-of-hours class session was to discuss “The Anatomy of the Vampire Myth.” Rather than give a lecture, I used a “whiteboard” approach–a classroom discussion with “Coggle” software, where collectively we made a mental map of various literary links between critical aspects of vampire stories. I am looking for the mythic realities within and behind and after the stories, the ways that vampire tales speak to us about our deepest truths. Wrapped into vampire lore are some mythic ideas that occur again and again–foundational stories about blood, sacrifice, love, life, and humanity.
In this “whiteboard” workshop session, we sketched out the “anatomy” of the vampire myth using concept mapping. The audience really showed up and created a great concept map. Here is a picture of that concept map that we created and the recorded video. I hope you can enjoy this session, and extend it out to your own teaching, writing, and great reading.
These open classes link to ideas in the Folkloric Transformations: Vampires & Big Bad Wolves course.