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English Majors’ Vampire Bibliography to be Published

An annotated bibliography on vampires, the result of a year-long research project by three ONU English majors, will be published this summer by The New York Review of Science Fiction. The authors are: Samantha LaChey, a senior in creative writing/literature from Troy, Ohio; Merrill Miller, a  senior creative writing major from McMurray, Pa.; and Cailey Williams, a senior literature/French major from Eastlake, Ohio.

A literary journal, The New York Review of Science Fiction, began in 1988 and publishes articles and reviews on science fiction, fantasy and horror. Submissions are reviewed by four to eight readers before publication.

The bibliography grew out of work done for English 232, Research Practicum, a course designed to prepare English students in the techniques of intense research expected in graduate school. Williams will be attending graduate school at the University of Pittsburgh to study library science with a speciality in children and young adult services. LaChey will be attending graduate school at Simmons College. Miller is also considering graduate school. Throughout the year the students delved into vampires both past and present.

Vampires have mesmerized society for centuries, but in recent years have become part of popular culture. The students wanted to document this recent trend. Ultimately, the student researchers compiled a more than10,000-word annotated bibliography on all the secondary research that has been done in English on vampires since Bram Stoker penned Dracula in 1897.  The bibliography includes peer reviewed journal articles, essay compilations, encyclopedias, dictionaries and historical studies. An annotated bibliography not only summarizes research, it also comments on its level of quality, so the process allowed the students to sharpen their analytical skills, says Dr. Druann Bauer, assistant professor of English, who directed the research.

Bauer’s interest in the subject of vampires developed during a recent Romantics course. Initial research indicated there was a vast amount of scholarship on the vampire genre but it was difficult to locate. The ONU group believed that a well-researched, well-analyzed annotated bibliography on vampires would be useful to the literary community. The bibliography was accepted before final editing was completed.

Bauer says the students working on this project are English majors who have read extensively, especially in the vampire genre, and are well qualified to critique the quality of the research they compiled.

“All have experience critiquing and editing literature in the classroom, and two have been journal editors,” Bauer points out. “LaChey has been the fiction editor for our school’s literary journal, Polaris, and is currently chair of Ceridwen, a new genre fiction publication at ONU.  Miller is also on the board of Ceridwen. Williams was a student editor for the periodical Shakespeare in the Classroom.”