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Transylvanian Society of Dracula Open Congress 2016

Thursday, 20 October 2016, 4 – 5pm

Transylvanian Society of Dracula Open Congress 2016

The Transylvanian Society of Dracula was founded in 1991 by Nicolae Paduraru and other scholars from Romania and abroad. Our aim was to establish a dialogue with scholars and fans from Western countries regarding the Romanian myth of Dracula and the way it was presented in Bram Stoker's story. Especially, we wanted to clear up the many misunderstandings about the relationship between the historical Dracula family that ruled Wallachia in the Middle Ages, and the fictitional Vampire Count Stoker created in the Victorian Age. Since the 1970's, it had been fashionable to simply merge Vlad III Dracula with the bloodsucking horror character from the 1897 novel; the books by Raymond McNally and Radu Florescu largely contributed to this false image. Much has been accomplished by our Society since then - in particularly by Prof. em. Elizabeth Miller, Toronto, the President of the Canadian/USA Chapter of the TSD, who published a series of books on this issue after our WORLD DRACULA CONGRESS in 1995 -- the first international meeting on this subject. Her writings contributed to a better understanding how Bram Stoker actually composed his novel and what sources he had available: as far as we are informed, he knew nothing about the cruel reputation of Vlad III Dracula and had no reason at all to assume that this Wallachian warrior would drink blood...

Twenty years have passed since the 1995 Congress; the Society has organised yearly international symposia, colloquia, and (nearly) every five years another WORLD DRACULA CONGRESS.  Our TSD members have developed new insights that even go beyond the positions worded between 1995 and 2010: in April 2012, when the centennial of Bram Stoker's death was commemorated with several international conferences, a more radical critique of the simplifications of the 1970's and 1980's became avalable. A closer reading of Dracula revealed that Bram Stoker never wanted to tie up Jonathan Harker's terrible host with a historical person that all too easily could be identified from the descriptions in his narrative - such as Vlad III Dracula. Instead, in Chapter 25 of Dracula Professor Van Helsing and Mina Harker discuss "an other" of the Dracula race, living in "a later age," and connect this anonymous "other" to the lifetime habits of their enemy. Possibly, Stoker had Michael the Brave (1558-1601) in mind, another Wallachian leader from the Dracula dynasty, who actively fought the Turks across the Danube and actually "commanded nations": for a short time in the year 1600, he united Wallachia, Transylvania and Moldavia under his command. But as we can see from the novel, Bram did not want to give this "other" the name of this Voivode, although he had read about Michael in Wilkinson's book about Wallachia and Moldavia (1820) and taken notes on him.

Still other fascinating discoveries have been made over the last few years, and therefore we are proud to announce that the 25th birthday of the TSD will be celebrated by another WORLD DRACULA CONGRESS: the TSD International Open Conference at Trinity College in Dublin, open to all scholars and fans of the Gothic. The initiative was taken by Hans de Roos, Munich, a Knight in the Order of Count Dracula, soon supported by Dr Magdalena Grabias, Assistant Professor at the Department of Cultural Studies at Maria Curie-Skłodowska University in Lublin, Poland, and by Kristin Bone, MA, a young Gothic Fiction author from the US, who studied English Literature at the University of Hertfordshire and at Trinity College, Dublin. Together, we have formed an Organisation Committee, hoping to make this conference a great success.

Campus LocationTrinity Long Room Hub
Accessibility: Yes
Event Type: Alumni, Arts and Culture, Campus information, Careers, Children’s activities, Classes, Conferences, Courses, Exhibits, External sport events, Key dates, Lectures and Seminars, Library, Public, Science Gallery, Special events, Student events, Trinity Sport events, Workshops and Training
Type of Event: One-time event
Audience: Undergrad, Postgrad, Alumni, Faculty & Staff, Public
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