Virtual Course | Read the Blood of Dracula: Fledgling by Octavia Butler

Date / Time

  • April 19, 2021
    6:30 pm - 8:30 pm





Bram Stoker’s Dracula has become the ur-text of vampire fiction and lore, the vampire story that not only continues to influence vampire tales today, but also influences how we read vampire stories that came before it. We’ll begin this seminar series by talking about Stoker’s novel, its story, as well as its continuing resonance about everything related to vampires. We’ll also take a look at some of the notes the author compiled as he wrote the book and now are a part of The Rosenbach’s collections. Then each month, we’ll feature a different vampire text: from stories of vampire folklore and fiction before Dracula to contemporary vampire fiction.

Unlike our Sundays with Dracula series, these meetings will include student discussion. We’ll use the Zoom meeting format, so we can all be on the screen together, talking about our favorite vampire stories. Class size will be limited to 25 participants per session. Students are responsible for their own internet connections.

Fledgling by Octavia Butler

Octavia Butler’s novel Fledgling replaces Stoker’s patriarchal supernatural monster myth with a novel about a black, female vampire from another world. Butler’s science-fictional take on the vampire mythos allows her novel to exist independently of vampire folklore and also enables her to explore contemporary issues of sexuality, deviance, death, race, and identity in far different ways than Stoker’s Victorian mind could have imagined.  Butler’s works, including Fledgling, are also a new volume in The Library of America series published in January 2021. Join us for an exploration of a contemporary vampire novel by a great American author.


You can register for the individual monthly sessions of this course. Learn more and register for additional monthly sessions here:

  • May 24 – The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova: Elizabeth Kostova’s The Historian was the first debut novel to also hit number one on the New York Times Bestseller List in it’s first week of release, meaning more than just vampire lovers were reading this new take on the vampire myth.  Kostova weaves the historical Vlad Tepes, from whom Stoker found his name for Dracula, into a gothic bibliomystery that takes its characters on a search from Transylvania to Philadelphia (the novel ends with a fictionalized visit to see The Rosenbach’s collections). We’ll explore how Kostova’s novel responds to Stoker’s creation and the effects of bringing Dracula into the 21st Century. Register.


About the Instructors

Led by Edward G. Pettit, host of The Rosenbach’s Sundays with Dracula 


About Rosenbach Courses

Revisit beloved classics or experience new ones with Rosenbach courses. Book lovers delve into fiction, history, and poetry with the guidance of a literary expert and the company of other readers. See all upcoming courses.