Vampires and the Anthropocene

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


The concept of the Anthropocene to define the current geological epoch is often reduced to apocalypses and pandemics in Hollywood filmmaking. In reality, it represents only a possible end of human life on the planet. Other species have already begun to adapt to global warming, large-scale pollution, resource depletion, and species extinction. This chapter explores whether the figure of the vampire, often associated with characteristic of nonhumans, including bats and rats, might offer a way to imagine multispecies kinship rather than the anthropocentric and speciesist thinking that unfolds from colonial to global capitalism by examining films such as Nosferatu: A Symphony of Horror (Germany, 1922) and The Hunger (USA/UK, 1983) as context for the rise of global capitalism. Although recent films, including 30 Days of Night (USA, 2007), I Am Legend (USA, 2007), Daybreakers (Australia/USA, 2009), Stake Land (USA, 2010), Only Lovers Left Alive (USA/UK, 2013), and A Girl Walks Home Alone (USA, 2014), use the Anthropocene as a setting, they avoid criticism of capitalist extractivism needed for recognition of human accountability to the planet as a multispecies biosystem of which humans are but one species. The cable series True Blood (USA, 2008–2014) perhaps comes closest to suggesting the need for the right to rights for nonhuman species.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationThe Palgrave Handbook of the Vampire
EditorsSimon Bacon
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Number of pages21
StatePublished - 2023


  • environnement studies
  • Anthropocene
  • Disaster
  • Capitalism
  • neoliberalism
  • Horror
  • Vampire


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