On, Oct. 31, Texas’ vampire scholars will descend upon North Central Texas College’s Corinth campus for “There are Such Things! Vampire Studies Symposium 2015.”
The symposium will feature five lectures and small group discussions over lunch. The keynote speaker will be J. Gordon Melton of Baylor University, author of the essential reference work The Vampire Book: the Encyclopedia of the Undead (1994; 1999; 2011) and The Vampire in Folklore, History, Literature, Film and Television: A Comprehensive Bibliography (2015), compiled with Alysa Hornick.
Other speakers include Thomas Garza, professor of Slavic Languages at the University of Texas, and editor of The Vampire in Slavic Cultures (2009); Michael Bell, folklorist and author of Food for the Dead: On the Trail of New England’s Vampires (2001); Joseph Laycock, philosophy professor at Texas State University and author of Vampires Today: The Truth about Modern Vampirism (2009); and Dax Stokes, the librarian at North Central Texas College and host of The Vampire Historian podcast.
In addition to the lectures, there will also be a time to meet the authors and purchase their books and get them autographed. The conference will run from about 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., at the Corinth campus of North Central Texas College.
The lectures will cover a variety of topics related to the field of vampirology. Melton will open the conference with a look at his long career in a talk titled “Don’t Quit Your Day Job: The Reality of Life as a Modern Vampirologist.”
Garza will look at traditional Eastern European folklore with his talk “From Vampire to Empire in Russia, Eastern Europe and the Balkans.”
After lunch, the focus moves to U.S. with Bell, speaking on “There Were Such Things in New England: The Yankee Version of Europe’s Vampire Tradition.”
Leaving folklore aside, Laycock will take attendees into the world of the vampire community with his talk “Born Not Turned: What the Real Vampire Community Can Tell Us About Identity and Modernity.”
Finally, Stokes will finish the conference with a look at vampirology in the 21st century with “The Future of Vampire Studies: Stop Counting Seeds and Get Out There.”
Participants will also have a chance for networking and discussion over lunch, which is included in the early registration fee of $20. After Oct. 1, registration will be $25. NCTC students, faculty and staff can register for $10. Seating is limited, so register early at nctc.edu/vampiresymposium.