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Profs and Pints presents: “When Vampires Arose,” with Bruce McClelland, former instructor at the University of Virginia and author of Slayers and Their Vampires: A Cultural History of Killing the Dead.
Descend into La Pop cultural salon on a dark October evening, if you dare. This is your chance to learn from a real vampirologist about the ancient origins of those who lurk in our nightmares.
When we hear the word “vampire,” we tend to think of the blood-drinking undead first introduced into popular imagination in Bram Stoker’s Dracula, published in 1897. We envision powerful shape-shifters with fangs.
Stoker, however, never travelled to Transylvania, much less Bulgaria, the true home of vampire folklore. His novel—and vampire novels and films that came after it—don’t tell you the real deal.
Bruce McClelland, who holds a PhD in Slavic folklore from the University of Virginia, set off to the Balkans to research vampires on their home turf. He conducted extensive research in the ethnographic, archeological, folkloric, and historical archives of that region, researching beliefs that date back about a thousand years. And he made it back alive to share what he had learned, teaching a course and publishing a book on vampires and those who had slayed them.
He’ll talk about the ancient origins of vampires as religious scapegoats—pagans alleged to drink the blood of the animals they sacrificed—and he’ll discuss how those who slayed them might have been the truly frightening figures of their time.
It could be, however, that his experiences over there left him biased. Have you noted that he is not giving his talk in the daylight? Feel free to dress vampirically or bring crosses, holy water, or garlic, so we’ll know which side you are on.
Advance tickets available at https://profsandpintsvampires.brownpapertickets.com/