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Buffy The Vampire Slayer

Buffy in Vampires in the pop culture

Wednesday 27 October 2010, by Webmaster

DURHAM — Just in time for Halloween, Durham County Library will host a discussion on vampires in popular culture at 7 p.m. Thursday.

Led by Neal Bell and Carlos Rojas of Duke University, the discussion will explore why vampires are dominating the media. The free event will be held at the main library, 300 N. Roxboro St.

The past decade has seen vampires rise in popularity with hit book series including "Twilight" by Stephenie Meyer and the "Sookie Stackhouse Series" by Charlaine Harris — the basis for HBO’s hit show "True Blood."

Vampire literature has flourished with bloodsuckers turning up in recent popular and critical successes, such as "The Passage" by Justin Cronin and "The Historian" by Elizabeth Kostova.

The ongoing fascination with the undead has also spawned lucrative film and television properties including "The Vampire Diaries," the "Underworld" movie series and "Buffy the Vampire Slayer." The discussion will investigate some of the deeper meanings behind vampires and why they are enjoying this resurgence.

Bell is a Professor of the Practice in Duke’s Theater Studies department and has taught horror genre classes. A successful playwright, he won the Edgar Award for Best Play in 2004 and was recognized with a Guggenheim fellowship.

Rojas, an Assistant Professor of Chinese Cultural Studies at Duke, has taught a course on vampires in cross cultural contexts and is interested in how the public’s fascination with vampire folklore is connected with fears of infectious disease.