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Title: Dracula on film: A psychohistoricist study
Authors: Walden, Steven J
Advisors: Hunt, L
Ruddell, C
Keywords: Vampire;Historicism;Psychoanalysis;Freud;Culture
Issue Date: 2022
Publisher: Brunel University London
Abstract: This thesis examines selected iterations of Dracula in order to investigate the psychohistoricist cultural resonance of the character as established and continually reaffirmed by the film cycles that he inhabits. Dracula’s continued pervasion of Western culture is argued to be due to the intersectionality of the intrinsic (psychological and emotive) responses of and extrinsic (historical resonances and sociocultural milieu) cues affecting viewers. The critical analysis of film in this thesis is based on psychohistoricism as a conflated analytical paradigm drawing upon the dynamic between historicism and psychoanalysis as applied to film. Historicism as posited in this context assumes that every expressive act is embedded in a network of material practices within which filmic texts circulate inseparably, and that no discourse within that network (imaginative or archival) gives access to unchanging truths nor expresses inalterable human nature. The intention is not to locate the film cycles of the Dracula canon as directly causal or symptomatic of contemporaneous sociocultural shifts, or the psychological tensions that underpin them, but to view them as reflective of the liminal spatial interplay between filmas- art, the psychosocial milieu, the concomitant evolution of psychoanalysis, and historiography via a process of inductive thematic content analysis. Dracula is a resilient and recurrent cultural property that has inhabited the roles of hero, anti-hero and villain, and is idolised, loved, vilified and hated, as a multifaceted perennial narrative focus. Dracula’s cinematic cycles can be argued to be a cultural barometer, reflecting the culture we create and recreate.
Description: This thesis was submitted for the award of Doctor of Philosophy and was awarded by Brunel University London
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Dept of Arts and Humanities Theses

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