St Mary’s Lecturer Publishes Book Exploring Vampire Culture

A senior lecturer in the School of Communication, Culture and Creative Arts at St Mary’s University College, Twickenham has recently published a book that explores the longstanding love affair that women have with vampire culture and examines how it influences their daily lives.

Screen Media lecturer Dr Maria Mellins, who specialises in horror and cult cinema, audiences and fan practices, and fashion and beauty, has written the book Vampire Culture (Bloomsbury Publishing 2013). It is based on empirical audience research data, is the first study to address this little-known subculture, which holds a fascination for many.

The first decade of the 21st century has displayed an ever increasing fixation with vampires, from the recent space of successful books, films and TV programmes, to the return of the vampire-like style on the catwalk.

Amidst this hype, there exists a small and dedicated community that has been celebrating their interest in the vampire since the early 1990s. The London vampire subculture is an alternative lifestyle community of people from all walks of life and ages, from train drivers to university lecturers, who organise events such as fang fittings, gothic belly dancing, late night grave walks and ‘carve your own tombstone’.

This book presents an extraoridinary account of this fascinating subculture, which is largely unknown to most people. Dr Mellins uses case study analysis of the female participants to investigate women’s longstanding love affair with the undead, and asks how this fascination impacts on their lives, from fiction to fashion.

Vampire Culture includes photography from community member and professional photographer SoulStealer, and is an essential read for students and scholars of gender, film, television, media, fashion, culture, sociology and research methods, as well as anyone with an interest in vampires, subcultures and the Gothic.

Vampire Culture is available to buy on the Bloomsbury website.