Are dissertations on vampirism in young adult fiction overdone?

Watch
The Milk Thief
Badges: 13
Rep:
?
#1
Report Thread starter 2 years ago
#1
I'm writing my dissertation next semester and I'm trying to get a sharp idea of what I'd like to do. I was quite keen on looking at some young adult fiction featuring vampires and analysing modern perceptions of womanhood and femininity eg. sexuality, idea of the family etc. but I'm worried that it might be the kind of dissertation that's not terribly original. I've looked into secondary sources and most of it centres around the Twilight Saga. I just wondered if anyone could give me their opinion on whether or not this would be a tired topic? Would it be better to avoid using Twilight? I'm not sure how I could do that given that it's the major example. Would it be more original if I paired it with something that has received less attention?
0
reply
Lit teacher
Badges: 14
Rep:
?
#2
Report 2 years ago
#2
What is the level of study? I would be worried about a dissertation based on a text which is superficially not very challenging and has a film, so a student might not even need to read the whole book. The best topics start with a question, then a search for texts which allow you to find an answer. Is there a particular reason why you want to study vampires in fiction, or did you enjoy Twilight and want a question that enabled you to write about it?
"Modern perceptions of womanhood and femininity eg. sexuality, idea of the family etc" are interesting areas for study. Why not go with this but not the vampires, which will allow you to consider a wider range of texts, including some which you may not be familiar with.
1
reply
The Milk Thief
Badges: 13
Rep:
?
#3
Report Thread starter 2 years ago
#3
(Original post by Lit teacher)
What is the level of study? I would be worried about a dissertation based on a text which is superficially not very challenging and has a film, so a student might not even need to read the whole book. The best topics start with a question, then a search for texts which allow you to find an answer. Is there a particular reason why you want to study vampires in fiction, or did you enjoy Twilight and want a question that enabled you to write about it?
"Modern perceptions of womanhood and femininity eg. sexuality, idea of the family etc" are interesting areas for study. Why not go with this but not the vampires, which will allow you to consider a wider range of texts, including some which you may not be familiar with.
It's for my undergrad in English Literature. I had to submit a form before the summer to declare a particular field of interest so they could assign me a dissertation adviser. I've been assigned a fantasy children's literature specialist despite my original proposal having nothing to do with fantasy or children's literature! I'm unsure how this happened but she's attempting to convince me away from my original idea to do something she might have more expertise about but I'm really struggling to think of something that I would be driven to write about! I'm going to be stuck doing something on Tolkien if I can't come up with something else that she's willing to work with me on.

I was considering involving a sort of textual aspect ie. the marketing and sociology of vampirism in young adult fiction. I would only make reference to the film in relation to this to indicate my awareness of it n the market.

I wrote my Advanced Higher dissertation challenging our perception of monstrosity in Frankenstein and The Picture of Dorian Gray. I'm interested in most things with a supernatural element. I'm really only looking for new ideas because this dissertation adviser is completely unwilling to work with me on my original topic.
0
reply
lawstudent109
Badges: 4
Rep:
?
#4
Report 2 years ago
#4
(Original post by The Milk Thief)
I'm writing my dissertation next semester and I'm trying to get a sharp idea of what I'd like to do. I was quite keen on looking at some young adult fiction featuring vampires and analysing modern perceptions of womanhood and femininity eg. sexuality, idea of the family etc. but I'm worried that it might be the kind of dissertation that's not terribly original. I've looked into secondary sources and most of it centres around the Twilight Saga. I just wondered if anyone could give me their opinion on whether or not this would be a tired topic? Would it be better to avoid using Twilight? I'm not sure how I could do that given that it's the major example. Would it be more original if I paired it with something that has received less attention?
I suppose topics like this are tired but it's tired because it's something that everyone loves to write about, writing about twilight might not be all that original but as long as you analyse the hell out of it and add what your perception of it is and you compare it to other books in the same genre it's something you can write a great deal about as it explores a lot of different supernatural aspects and legends.
1
reply
Lit teacher
Badges: 14
Rep:
?
#5
Report 2 years ago
#5
(Original post by The Milk Thief)
It's for my undergrad in English Literature. I had to submit a form before the summer to declare a particular field of interest so they could assign me a dissertation adviser. I've been assigned a fantasy children's literature specialist despite my original proposal having nothing to do with fantasy or children's literature! I'm unsure how this happened but she's attempting to convince me away from my original idea to do something she might have more expertise about but I'm really struggling to think of something that I would be driven to write about! I'm going to be stuck doing something on Tolkien if I can't come up with something else that she's willing to work with me on.

I was considering involving a sort of textual aspect ie. the marketing and sociology of vampirism in young adult fiction. I would only make reference to the film in relation to this to indicate my awareness of it n the market.

I wrote my Advanced Higher dissertation challenging our perception of monstrosity in Frankenstein and The Picture of Dorian Gray. I'm interested in most things with a supernatural element. I'm really only looking for new ideas because this dissertation adviser is completely unwilling to work with me on my original topic.
Wow - From Shelley and Wilde to Stephanie Meyer... I can appreciate your concerns. It seems totally wrong to force a topic on you to suit your adviser.
Have you considered Philip Pullman? The Dark Materials trilogy is often classed as children's fantasy but has some elements of the supernatural and presents an alternative universe that is closely linked to our own. 'The Amber Spyglass' in particular takes the strong anti-religious theme to its logical conclusion. It might be interesting to contrast that with the Christian allegory of the Narnia series, and in particular The Last Battle which seems to be a loosely disguised attack on Islam.
Children's fantasy literature is also quite political. Think about how many texts have a minority of oppressed individuals fighting against an oppressive state - whether it's Hunger Games, the later Harry Potter novels, The Wind Singer, His Dark Materials... are these writers trying to tell us something? It was never like that with Enid Blyton!
0
reply
The Milk Thief
Badges: 13
Rep:
?
#6
Report Thread starter 2 years ago
#6
(Original post by Lit teacher)
Wow - From Shelley and Wilde to Stephanie Meyer... I can appreciate your concerns. It seems totally wrong to force a topic on you to suit your adviser.
Have you considered Philip Pullman? The Dark Materials trilogy is often classed as children's fantasy but has some elements of the supernatural and presents an alternative universe that is closely linked to our own. 'The Amber Spyglass' in particular takes the strong anti-religious theme to its logical conclusion. It might be interesting to contrast that with the Christian allegory of the Narnia series, and in particular The Last Battle which seems to be a loosely disguised attack on Islam.
Children's fantasy literature is also quite political. Think about how many texts have a minority of oppressed individuals fighting against an oppressive state - whether it's Hunger Games, the later Harry Potter novels, The Wind Singer, His Dark Materials... are these writers trying to tell us something? It was never like that with Enid Blyton!
I'll look into those, thank you for your help!
1
reply
ofdro
Badges: 12
Rep:
?
#7
Report 2 years ago
#7
IF you're afraid other people are better at your chosen path than you (or those who've walked it before have DONE better than you) then stay away from it.
0
reply
yaspp
Badges: 13
Rep:
?
#8
Report 2 years ago
#8
What about Angela Carter- The Bloody Chamber and other stories? There is 10 short stories, and they all take a feminist approach on traditional fairy tales like show white, beauty and the beast etc. I’m doing it in English lit a level at the moment and it’s really good! It has a lot of reoccurring gothic tropes like the supernatural, vampirism and such. Maybe consider this?
1
reply
The Milk Thief
Badges: 13
Rep:
?
#9
Report Thread starter 2 years ago
#9
(Original post by yasminpryor)
What about Angela Carter- The Bloody Chamber and other stories? There is 10 short stories, and they all take a feminist approach on traditional fairy tales like show white, beauty and the beast etc. I’m doing it in English lit a level at the moment and it’s really good! It has a lot of reoccurring gothic tropes like the supernatural, vampirism and such. Maybe consider this?
I've read some Carter, hadn't considered it since her stuff isn't so much children's lit but you're totally right! I could maybe look at The Bloody Chamber alongside Grimm's stuff. Thank you!
1
reply
X

Quick Reply

Attached files
Write a reply...
Reply
new posts
Back
to top
Latest
My Feed

See more of what you like on
The Student Room

You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

Personalise

How would you feel if uni students needed to be double vaccinated to start in Autumn?

I'd feel reassured about my own health (21)
15.44%
I'd feel reassured my learning may be less disrupted by isolations/lockdowns (45)
33.09%
I'd feel less anxious about being around large groups (14)
10.29%
I don't mind if others are vaccinated or not (14)
10.29%
I'm concerned it may disadvantage some students (7)
5.15%
I think it's an unfair expectation (32)
23.53%
Something else (tell us in the thread) (3)
2.21%

Watched Threads

View All