The Beloved Does Not Bite: Moral Vampires and the Humans Who Love Them

Debra Dudek Lecture

The Centre for Research in Young People’s Texts and Cultures is pleased to host a lecture, “The Beloved Does Not Bite: Moral Vampires and the Humans Who Love Them,” by Dr. Debra Dudek on January 27 from 12:30 to 1:20. It will take place in room 1L07 at the University of Winnipeg.

In this talk, Dr. Dudek moves from a broad definition of a new sub-genre of vampire texts–the Beloved Cycle–to a close reading of an episode of The Vampire Diaries in order to demonstrate how looking leads to loving. In his article, “Love as a Moral Emotion,” J. David Velleman engages with Iris Murdoch’s theory that “love is an exercise in ‘really looking'” and suggests that this process of loving “arrests our tendencies toward emotional self-protection from another person, tendencies to draw ourselves in and close ourselves off from being affected by him. Love disarms our emotional defences; it makes us vulnerable to the other” (361). Dr. Dudek argues that a generic shift into the Beloved Cycle connects “really looking” to a love-based justice in which emotional evaluations allow for a reconsideration of what it means to act ethically.

Dr. Debra Dudek works at the University of Wollongong, Australia as a Senior Lecturer in English Literatures, as an Associate Dean (International), and as Director of the Centre for Canadian-Australian Studies. She has published internationally on Canadian, Australian, and Children’s Literature. In her current research, she analyses representations of ethics, emotions, and monsters in series fiction, film, and television for young people.