This course will explore Bram Stoker’s 1897 classic vampire novel, Dracula, which is famous for introducing the vampire Count Dracula. This is the story of Dracula's move from Transylvania to England to find new blood and spread the curse of the undead. It also introduces the now-famous character of Professor Abraham Van Helsing.
The novel Dracula is categorized in many different ways: vampire, horror, and gothic fiction. It also addresses concepts such as women in Victorian culture, colonialism, sexuality, and post-colonialism. Although Stoker was not the first writer to tell the story of a vampire, he is credited for giving the vampire its modern form. This story has been adapted to many different forms in film and theater.
Participants in this course will read, discuss, and write about the text and its influence. As in most book clubs, the focus will be on lively discussion. Course materials will include background information for understanding the text, as well as vocabulary and language support. Assessment will include quizzes and short writing assignments.
Doris Smith completed this course, spending 4 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be easy.
I enjoyed this course far more than the earlier "book club" course on James Joyce's The Dubliners, perhaps because I liked the book better. The posts in the discussion forums were more interesting, and the exercises were more engaging. (Although I still feel that Coursera's discussion forums are better than edX's at stimulating genuine discussion.)