WHERE’S THE PLACE OF DRACULA:
(DE)CONSTRUCTING STEREOTYPES IN THE STUDY OF THE MYTHICAL SPACE IN LITERATURE AND THE ARTS
The study of literary texts may contribute to the (de)construction of stereotypes about people and places. Starting from the hypothesis that literature and myth simplify history and transform objective reality into subjective perception, we intend to discuss the relationship between space and imagination, including the situation in which a successful literary work may transform geographic reality into story, and the visit into a way of reading. We intend to discuss reading both as a hermeneutic practice and aesthetic experience, based on the impact of the work of art on the reader.
We open the discussion by the example of the Dracula myth, with the variety of its forms of manifestation (literature, film, visual arts etc.) and the representations of Transylvania in Western imagination, and we want to extend the debate to other spaces which are “transformed” by literary perception.
The workshop intends to open a debate on some issues such as, but not limited to:
- Reading and feelings: subjective perceptions of geography and history;
- The relationship between literature and film in the representation of the mythical space;
- The importance of the Gothic in contemporary media representations: aesthetic experience and emotional impact;
- Reading and stereotypes: empirical approaches to the reaction of the audience to narration or to the work of art;
- The attraction of the audience to horror and violence: the identification with the fictional hero;
- The association of myths (such as the Dracula myth or other myths revived in contemporary times) with real locations;
- The contemporary uses of the Dracula myth: what does Dracula represent for Romanians, on the one hand, and for the Western readers, on the other? - Emotions and Identification; - Advantages and Disadvantages in using stereotypes in the study of the work of art;
- Emotion and cognition in entertainment: the role of education.
Dr. Marius-Mircea Crișan
Marius-Mircea Crișan (PhD 2008 University of Turin, Italy) is Senior Lecturer at the Teacher Training Department, West University of Timișoara, Romania. He is the author of the volumes The Birth of the Dracula Myth: Bram Stoker’s Transylvania and The Impact of a Myth: Dracula and the Fictional Representation of the Romanian Space (Pro Universitaria, 2013), of several articles on imagology, reception theories and didactics, and co-author of An Imagological Dictionary of the Cities in Romania Represented in British Travel Literature (Mentor, 2012). For more information see the website http://www.themythoftransylvania.ro/home_en.htm, which also provides access to some of his articles.