University of Worcester Worcester Research and Publications

Cultural Representations of the Transformative Body in Young Adult Multi-Volume Vampire Fiction, 2000-2010

Kubiesa, J.M. (2021) Cultural Representations of the Transformative Body in Young Adult Multi-Volume Vampire Fiction, 2000-2010. PhD thesis, University of Worcester.

Text (PhD thesis)
JMKubiesa_PhD_Thesis_Final.pdf - Submitted Version

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The literary vampire of traditional horror has moved away from the horror genre and found a
new and unlikely home in the pages of Young Adult multi-volume vampire fiction, where
s/he has embraced and indeed vampirised existing YA generic tropes to transform his/her
own physicality in unprecedented ways into something uniquely situated within its new
socio-cultural and generic position. This vampire has attracted vast audiences to the YA
genre, has arguably been responsible for the increase in YA fiction titles available and has
captured a unique socio-literary zeitgeist which will never exist again.
The nascent YA “neoteric vampire”, as cultural construct, and its transformative body will
form the topic of this thesis in relation to Gothic theories of the body and emerging YA
critical theory. The novels will be used as an interpretive vehicle for discussion of the cultural
context in order to establish a more formalist close reading and context-driven critical
discourse. The key themes addressed will include adolescence and physical maturation,
religion, sexuality and gender, beauty and food and each of these salient elements of
discussion will look to over-arching topics and their use across these thematically specific
areas. Such over-arching tropes will include heteronormative feeding, consumption and
vampiric gendering.
The original contribution to knowledge lies in the study of a newly introduced literary genre
and a newly created kind of teen vampire, constructed specifically to speak to contemporary
Western teen audiences of the 2000-2010 period like no vampire has before. This study
evaluates and investigates this unique vampire construct in conjunction with linked interdisciplinary, culturally specific critical analysis, from spheres including literary food
studies, transformation studies, gender studies and sociology, and Gothic theories relating to
the body in metamorphosis. By examining five series of largely unanalysed YA vampire
fiction as body-centric, as Gothic, as genre-specific, and as socio-culturally and geopolitically located for the first time as a whole, this thesis adds to and furthers the academic
debate in the arena of YA vampire studies as it relates to notions of the body of the vampire,
and ultimately the teen body, as represented, culturally constructed, transformable and

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Additional Information:

A thesis submitted in partial fulfilment of the
University’s requirements for the Degree of
Doctor of Philosophy, University of Worcester, 2021.

A pdf file of this PhD thesis is available to download from this WRaP record.

Uncontrolled Discrete Keywords: young adults, cultural construction, vampire fiction, transformative body, cultural representations
Divisions: College of Arts, Humanities and Education > School of Humanities
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Janet Davidson
Date Deposited: 14 Jul 2021 08:24
Last Modified: 14 Jul 2021 08:24

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