College Offers Class In Vampires And The Extra Credit Involves Killing
Long gone are the days of boring English lit and killing mockingbirds and farms full of talking animals. These days, it’s all about the supernatural.
Just in time for Halloween, Anderson is gearing up for his third go-around at teaching Vampires, an English 202 class that fulfills GMU students’ literature requirement. Anderson previously taught the course in the Spring 2013 and 2015 semesters, but says he looks forward to revamping the course material.
“I’m not pitching this as high-level literary analysis, (I’m) just kind of hoping to get the students reading and interacting with the texts and with each other and having some fun,” Anderson says. “For next semester I’m thinking about rebooting the course and doing more with modern and contemporary vampires … there’s just so much going on right now with vampires that I’d like to tap into that a little bit more.
The class, just called Vampires, introduces students to the classics blood suckers like Bram Stoker’s Dracula and Stephen King’s Salem Lot along with modern short stories. There’s only one rule — no goddamn Twilight.
“We’re not here for sparkling, mopey vampires,” he says. “It’s a really watered-down version of something that is really a lot more interesting. And it’s cool that some of my students come in because they know about Twilight, but it kind of humanizes the vampires too much. It takes out that tension between the human and the monster.”
The prof does offer extra credit, for students in need, and it’s pretty simple — go out and kill a vampire and bring in proof. Some students have found success.
“You got extra credit if you brought in proof that you killed a vampire,” says Maggie Haynes, a senior at GMU who took the class last spring. “Proof could include dust … a jar of sparkles, I cut up several classic vampire fangs and dipped them in red paint and strung them up on a string and said I brought in a vampire fang necklace, and I got extra credit off of that.”
What if you brought in Robert Pattinson’s career? That’s pretty dead.
[via USA Today]