Monday, 26 September 2011

Impressive CV

Joseph Laycock is probably the first author to put heavy emphasis on the sociological underpinnings of the 'real vampire' subculture. At least, in full-length book form (Vampires today: the truth about modern vampirism, 2009). Such treatments 'legitimise' the lifestyle. Whether you think that's a good or a bad thing, is up to you.

In my opinion, his book is of greater value to the 'Scene' than various works by self-appointed 'spokespersons', on account of how seriously it treats the subject and lending it a scientific context absent from the occult-steeped pseudohistories of other contributors.

Other works, like Rosemary Ellen Guiley's Vampires among us, Carol Page's Blood lust: conversations with real vampires (both 1991) and Katherine Ramsland's Piercing the darkness: undercover with vampires in America today (1998), to name a few, tend to view vampiroids from a journalistic viewpoint. A story to tell. Interactions with 'characters'. Novelty.

Therefore, it's impressive to see that Laycock's contribution to the field isn't limited to his book, with articles for Arc, Nova Religio, Proteus, and others. He also taught a course—'Vampires in civilisation'—at the Tufts Experimental College, Medford, Mass. Here's an article discussing the class. The guy knows his stuff.

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