Document Type



Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor's Name

Martha Schoolman

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

Jason Pearl

Second Advisor's Committee Title

Committee member

Third Advisor's Name

Mark Kelley

Third Advisor's Committee Title

Committee member


Disability Studies, Narratology, Dracula, Alterity, The Other, Gothic Fiction, Carmilla. Queen of the Damned, Monstrosity, Bodily Difference, Disability, other, monster, vampire, disabled body, stoker, Bram Stoker, Anne Rice, Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu

Date of Defense



The purpose of this thesis is to analyze the various depictions of monstrosity in Gothic literature through the lens of a new theoretical framework, disability narratology — coded patterns operating within literary texts that pertain to the impaired body and its portrayal as monstrous through repetitive tropes that paint bodily differences as horrifying. The villainous other, the monster, is often representative of something more than what the author plainly states. It often works as a stand-in for characteristics deemed undesirable within a cultural group. The monster is a complex being within each text, speaking—or not speaking in some instances—and acting through coded patterns that distinguish the villainous other from the acceptable norm that the main character typically represents. Likewise, disability in literature is portrayed as the antithesis of societal norms and acceptability, To do this work, this thesis will analyze three prominent vampire texts, Carmilla, by Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu, published in 1872, Dracula, by Bram Stoker in 1897, and Queen of the Damned, by Anne Rice in 1988.





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