“The Disorder of Death and the Rise of the Vampire”

With Nicole Salomone

The definition of death was a wibbley-wobbley sort of thing during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Come learn how the lack of the definitions of life and death created havoc in eighteenth century London, and gave way to vampire lore.


Over the past 400 years the concepts of death and dying have transferred from normal acts of the human life cycle to a highly regulated business. The business aspect of these natural occurrences grew from the need to respectfully dispose of the corpse and to ensure that medical schools were obtaining an adequate number of corpses for both academic study and experimentation during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. This resulted in the growth of business with the corpse as the commodity.

As the public became more aware of the condition of the interred corpse, the awareness of premature burial grew. This caused the medical community to start the process of developing a clinical definition of death. As this took place, another movement started to grow, which enveloped the same qualities – the rise of vampire fiction and lore.

Come hear stories about how science and fiction blended and the line between reality and fantasy become thinner than you ever imagined.