Vampires and feminism
A slight deviation from current politics…
So, my dissertation paper has been accepted to an academic conference at the University of London’s Institute of Germanic and Romance studies. If you’re interested in literary analysis, vampires, Twilight or feminism, you should try and come! Abstract is as follows:
‘Love to her becomes a religion’: The Twilight saga, feminism and regression
Traditionally, vampiric stories challenge patriarchal proscription. This paper explores Stephanie Meyer’s deft use of patriarchal gender roles to buck vampiric philosophy’s tendency to challenge the status quo, resulting in putting the modern women firmly back in her subordinate place. Vampires are equipped with the power of penetration, and the dissertation explores this notion to female vampires in the series, and the significant factor of Bella Swan’s eventual vampiric superpower being self- restraint.
As vampire philosophy often renders human beings weak and female, whilst vampires are strong and male, the paper will also be examining power and control between humans and vampirism in particular, Meyer’s fetishation of female victimhood, and romantic notions of female self-sacrifice using Simone de Beauvoir’s 1949 feminist theory The Second Sex to analyse Meyer’s regressive writings.
Edward Cullen is presented as the monster with a heart, and the epitome of perfection. Working with the theory of a vampire bite as a metaphor for the loss of female virginity, this paper applies Carol J. Adams’ feminist vegan critical theory The Sexual Politics of Meat directly to the texts in order to expose the close and dangerous relationship between the notions of love, lust, bloodlust, abuse, control, sex and violence- all used repeatedly in the Twilight saga to promote a false idea of romantic love.
The conference is on the 2nd to the 4th November 2011. Provisional information can be found here– I’ll post up more details (prices, programme ) as and when I get it.