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VampfestEach year a leading university specialising in gothic and vampire studies curates the Academic Conference. Previous curating colleges were the University of South Wales, Seton Hill, Kutztown and Edinburgh Napier. This years’ conference is once again being curated by USW.

This years’ Vampire Creative Congress will be staged over two days – Wednesday 10 and Thursday 11 July – in Lauderdale House, a magnificent Georgian house overlooking Waterlow Park and Highgate Cemetery.  The event includes presentation of the latest and best academic papers on all things vampire along with chaired panels. This year’s featured topics include Hammer’s Vampires; The legend of the Highgate Vampire, and the 200th anniversary of Polidori’s seminal classic ‘The Vampyre’. The VAC features two amazing keynote talks: the first from the ‘Prof of Goth’, Nick Groom, and the second from legendary author Kim Newman.

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The International Vampire Film and Arts Festival

and the

University of South Wales


The 4th Vampire Academic Conference

Lauderdale House, Highgate Village, London

10th-11th July 2019

'Hammer, Highgate And The Vampyre'



The Undeath of Hammer Films

The Tall Tale of the Highgate Vampire

Two Centuries of Polidori's The Vampyre


Kim Newman

Kim Newman is a novelist, critic and broadcaster. His fiction includes the bestselling Anno Dracula series, while his non-fiction includes Nightmare Movies and Horror: 100 Best Books. He is a contributing editor to The Guardian, Sight & Sound and Empire.

Nick Groom

Nick Groom, known as the “Prof of Goth,” is professor of English at Exeter University, UK. His latest work is The Vampire – A New History, an authoritative study of the iconic creature two hundred years after it first appeared on the literary scene with John Polidori's publication of The Vampyre. His previous titles include The Gothic: A Very Short Introduction.

The University of South Wales, in association with the IVFAF, calls for papers by scholars interested in presenting their researched essays on vampire literature, film, folklore, theatre, games, graphic novels, lifestyle, fashion, music and wider art in the fourth annual Vampire Academic Conference (VAC) that runs alongside the festival in London.
Themes for this year's Conference include the Celluloid Vampire, with a non-exclusive focus on the undeath of Hammer Films and the enduring legacy of their iconic vampire films; the Fake News Vampire, examining the consequences when fiction and folklore are presented factually, such as the tall tale of the Highgate Vampire and the moral panic and media sensationalism that grew around it fifty years ago; and a celebration of Polidori's The Vampyre: A Tale two centuries on and its influence on the notion of the vampire as a romantic monster.

However, the VAC is not limited to these themes. The two overriding criteria for papers delivered at the conference are:
  • they must be about Vampires
  • they must be interesting

This major interdisciplinary international conference aims to examine and expand debates around vampires in all their many aspects. We therefore invite researchers from a range of academic backgrounds to re/consider vampires as a phenomenon that reaches across multiple sites of production and consumption, from literature and film to theatre and games to music and fashion and beyond. What accounts for this Gothic character's undying popular appeal, even in today's postmodern, digital, commercialized world?  How does vampirism circulate within and comment upon mass culture?  

We invite papers in genre theory & history, popular fiction, media culture, television theory, adaptation, journalism, comic studies, the transformative arts and other areas of film, literary and cultural studies in order to explore and expand the significance of the vampire as a figure of fascination across popular culture in shifting historic and social contexts.

We welcome proposals for conference papers of 20 minutes but also for pre-formed panels (of 3x20-minute papers), roundtable discussions, or formats that allow for the presentation of praxis (installations, lecture performances, for instance).  We also want to support undergraduate scholarship: any current UG students interested in attending the VAC would be eligible for special, 10-15 minute presentation panels to facilitate their participation in an international conference at the undergraduate level.

Please send a 300-500-word abstract, along with a short biography and indication of the format of your proposed presentation to: by Friday 31st May 2019.

If submitting a full panel proposal, the moderator should send a 50-word summary statement outlining the panel's title and central topic, along with all three proposals. Accepted submitters must confirm their commitment to attend and present a finished written paper in a talk lasting approximately 20 minutes at the conference at Lauderdale House in Highgate Village, London. It must be their own original work.

Presenters must register by purchasing an Delegate ticket. For more information on conference registration and location, visit

The VAC runs in tandem with the Vampire Creative Congress, which focuses on the creative industries and featuring talks about filmmaking, writing, games etc. The wider festival includes literature and film strands and includes guest talks from Hammer film stars and the screening of the best Hammer vampire film (as voted for by the public), Mark Kermode presenting his favourite vampire film at the beautiful Phoenix Cinema and a walk detailing the genesis of Bram Stoker's Dracula by following in the footsteps of the author himself. There's also a programme of theatre performances and parties, including the spectacular VampFire Ball. For more details, go to

Abstracts will be moderated by the following panel:
  • Mike Arnzen, Ph.D, Seton Hill University
  • Dr Emma McEvoy, University of Westminster
  • Dr Stacey Abbott, Roehampton University
  • Prof Nicole Peeler, Seton Hill University

Potential points of entry:

  • the transgression of narrative boundaries in Newman's Anno Dracula and other metafictional vampire texts
  • the impact on popular culture or non‐gothic genres of Polidori's The Vampyre, Dracula, Varney, Carmilla and other classic vampire texts
  • From Real Life and Real Dead to Undead and Real Scary: blurring vampire fiction and fact in Transylvania, Highgate and beyond
  • remakes and remixes of Polidori's The Vampyre, Stoker's Dracula or other conventional vampire texts
  • Blood & Lust: Hammer's vampires and their impact on the modern vampire
  • Women and the Vamp
  • Messy Eaters – gore and violence in vampire stories
  • vampire fiction as subgenre (comedies, romances, YA literature, graphic novels, games, theatre)
  • the vampire's role in genre evolution
  • the vampire as metaphor
  • vampires as signs of cultural change
  • the popular vampire in the literary mainstream
  • the evolution of sex and religion in vampire literature
  • the influence of cinema on literary vampires (and vice‐versa)
  • vampiric tropes in social networking, internet memes and new media culture
  • popular vampire fiction/film in the non‐western world
  • pedagogical applications of popular vampire texts
  • gender and the vampire and/or the vampire hunter
  • vampires and the depiction of alternative sexualities
  • other cultural studies applications of the vampire icon

This is an indicative list only and papers on any vampiric theme from any academic or practice background would be welcomed.

Vampire Film and Arts Festival Supported By:

VampFestSeton Fill The Land of Dracula International Vampire Film and Arts Festival Garland Stone
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