Date on Master's Thesis/Doctoral Dissertation
Committee Co-Chair (if applicable)
gothic fiction; queer theory; vampire fiction and film; media studies; adaptation studies; medical humanities
It is now an almost foregone conclusion that classic depictions of vampirism resonate with contemporary queer audiences. A sympathetic response to the monster’s persecution is often the key factor in these arguments, yet little attention is paid to the textual details that prompt such a process of identification. This study posits that the iconography used to establish a connection between monstrosity and non-normative sexuality has its origins in Victorian Gothic fiction, whose descriptions of vampirism were assimilated into the discourse of the fin-de-siècle medical field known as sexology. Theories that defined homosexuality as an illness with physical and psychological symptoms in turn influenced Late Victorian vampire literature and its translation into twentieth-century cinematic and televisual content. An analysis of these adaptations shows how a readily accessible assemblage of grotesque Gothic symbology and popular scientific ideology help constitute a secure space for exploring queer identity I have termed the “glass coffin.”
Wilson, Colton T., "The glass coffin: gothic adaptations and the formation of sexual subjectivity." (2022). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. Paper 3867.
American Popular Culture Commons, Film and Media Studies Commons, History of Science, Technology, and Medicine Commons, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Studies Commons, Literature in English, British Isles Commons, Medical Humanities Commons, Television Commons