"In a Moment I Am Perfectly Myself": A Study of the Lesbian Vampire as Crip-Queer Subject
This thesis is an exploration of the lesbian vampire as a character with the potential to be read as inhabiting a crip-queer subject position, one which troubles and challenges narratives of pathologization and demonization constructed around the body. Within this subject position, the lesbian vampire can also serve as a challenge to systems of compulsory able-bodiedness and compulsory heterosexuality. The first chapter of this work turns to Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu’s Carmilla (1872), providing a close reading of Le Fanu’s text in the context of case studies by Victorian-era sexologists. The second chapter focuses on two Carmilla adaptations produced in the 2010s: Jordan Hall’s Carmilla web series (2014-2016), and Emily Harris’ Carmilla film (2019), exploring how each project balances a normalization of lesbianism while still positioning Carmilla against compulsory systems fixated on her vampirism. The conclusion examines Jewelle Gomez’s The Gilda Stories (1991), as well as several other lesbian vampire projects published in the past three years.
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