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English 101: The Modern Monster: Find Books

Resources for researching vampires, werewolves, zombies, and other monsters in movies, popular books, and other media.

Community Colleges of Spokane

Below is a small selection of the relevant printed books available at the SFCC and SCC libraries. Other titles may be found in the book & video  catalog. Students can have items delivered from the SCC library to the SFCC library using the "Request this Item" link found on each item's page in the catalog. Requested items are usually available for pickup at the SFCC circulation desk by the following day.


The Essential Guide to Werewolf Literature / Brian J. Frost
University of Wisconsin Press, 2003

"In this fascinating book, Brian J. Frost presents the first full-scale survey of werewolf literature covering both fiction and nonfiction works. He identifies principal elements in the werewolf myth, considers various theories of the phenomenon of shapeshifting, surveys nonfiction books, and traces the myth from its origins in ancient superstitions to its modern representations in fantasy and horror fiction."

Frankenstein: A Cultural History / Susan Tyler Hitchcock
W.W. Norton, 2007

"At a time when the moral universe was shifting and advances in scientific knowledge promised humans dominion over that which had been God's alone, Mary Shelley envisioned a story of human presumption and its misbegotten consequences. Two centuries later, that story is still constantly retold and reinterpreted ...  Susan Tyler Hitchcock uses film, literature, history, science, and even punk music to help us understand the meaning of this monster made by man."

Gothicka: Vampire Heroes, Human Gods, and the New Supernatural / Victoria Nelson
Harvard University Press, 2012

"Today’s Gothic has fashioned its monsters into heroes and its devils into angels. It is actively reviving supernaturalism in popular culture, not as an evil dimension divorced from ordinary human existence but as part of our daily lives ... Nelson studies the complex arena of contemporary Gothic subgenres that take the form of novels, films, and graphic novels..." Also available as an ebook.

A History of Horror / Wheeler Winston Dixon
Rutgers University Press, 2010

"Arranged by decades, this 1-stop sourcebook unearths the historical origins of characters such as Dracula, Frankenstein, and the Wolfman and their various incarnations in film from the silent era to comedic sequels. A History of Horror explores how the horror film fits into the Hollywood studio system and how its enormous success in American and European culture expanded globally." Also available as an ebook.

Spokane Public Library

Sifting through the popular titles at the public libraries to find those suitable for academic work can be a challenge, but there are some gems if you're willing to look for them. Below is a sample of titles that may prove useful for your reasearch. On the Spokane Public Library catalog, library cardholders can request that any item be sent to their nearest local branch for pickup. Spokane Public is also a good place for your primary sources, for the DVDs and popular fiction that you can't find at SFCC.


Fanpire: The Twilight Saga and the Women who Love It / Tanya Erzen
Beacon Press, 2012

" Tanya Erzen introduces us to the global fanpire- members of Edward-addiction groups, twi-rock musicians and adherents of vampire religion- to explain how Twilight has become a massive cultural phenomenon, and why women and girls derive such pleasure from Twilight's fantasies of romance and power. In the supernatural world of Twilight's vampires and werewolves, the fears, insecurities and longings of many girls and women about sex and relationships are confronted head-on..."


How to Kill a Vampire: Fangs in Folklore, Film, and Fiction / Liisa Ladouceur
ECW Press, 2013

"Citing examples from folklore, as well as horror films, TV shows, and works of fiction. It traces the evolution of how to kill the fictional vampire--from Bram Stoker's Dracula and the Hammer horror films beginning in the 1950s to Anne Rice's Lestat and the dreamy vamps of Twilight, True Blood , and The Vampire Diaries --and also celebrates the most important slayers, including Van Helsing, Buffy, and Blade."


The Monster Show: A Cultural History of Horror / David J. Skal
Penguin Books, 1994

"Illuminating the dark side of the American century, The Monster Show uncovers the surprising links between horror entertainment and the great social crises of our time, as well as horror's function as a pop analogue to surrealism and other artistic movements. With penetrating analyses and revealing anecdotes, David J. Skal chronicles one of our most popular and pervasive modes of cultural expression. "


Shock Value: How a Few Eccentric Outsiders Gave Us Nightmares, Conquered Hollywood, and Invented Modern Horror / Jason Zinoman
Penguin Books, 2011

"Shock Value tells the unlikely story of how directors like Wes Craven, Roman Polanski, and John Carpenter revolutionized the genre in the 1970s, plumbing their deepest anxieties to bring a gritty realism and political edge to their craft. From Rosemary’s Baby to Halloween, the films they unleashed on the world created a template for horror that has been relentlessly imitated but rarely matched."


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