I am not making this up.

The world’s foremost vampire experts gathered last week at the University of Hull, in the United Kingdom, to discuss recent trends in, um, Gothic literature. The meeting, marking the centenary of the death of Dracula author Bram Stoker, apparently devolved into a discussion about the problem with the American vampire.

According to an article by Matthew Reisz in the Times Higher Education:

In the conference’s keynote lecture, Clive Bloom, emeritus professor of English and American literature at Middlesex University, argued that “Gothic studies have become institutionalised and safe. We need to return to a more visceral and scary notion of the Gothic. We need to stop using Freud and go back to de Sade – it’s all about perversity and the will to power.”

Professor Bloom also regretted “the Americanisation of the vampire” to be found, for example, in Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight books, where “the dangerous violent aristocrat has become the dark boy no one talks to and who’s eternally 17”.

The dangerous violent aristocrat was, however, also fictional so this seems like a rather inside baseball sort of concern, but whatever keeps them entertained….

Two years ago some American academics expressed a great deal of enthusiasm for the Twilight series, reasoning that they might be able to use the popular story to help facilitate an interest in philosophy.

We await an update on how that’s working out.

The opinions of the world’s undead on this issue are not recorded. [Image via]

Daniel Luzer

Daniel Luzer is the news editor at Governing Magazine and former web editor of the Washington Monthly. Find him on Twitter: @Daniel_Luzer