The Psychology of Dracula: Science, Literature, and the Supernatural

Photo of Mitchell Robert

Bob was raised in New Jersey, where his parents indulgently let him raise 100s of fish, amphibians, reptiles and mammals in their home. It is not surprising that he studies the psychology of animals! But his interests are wide-ranging, and include history of psychology, philosophy of mind, animal cognition, human development, and sexuality. All of these topics come together in his proposed course on the Psychology of Dracula. Bob has done research on cognition in dolphins, sea lions, apes, parrots, dogs, and humans, and has published edited books on topics ranging from deception, pretense, self-awareness, spatial cognition, anthropomorphism, and ape cognition. Bob is Foundation Professor of Psychology at Eastern Kentucky University. He lives with his spouse and 5 cats in Lexington, Kentucky. He has previously taken several student groups to France and Ecuador; this will be his first study abroad with CCSA.

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Dr. Robert W. Mitchell (More Info)

The Psychology of Dracula: Science, Literature, and the Supernatural

Program Dates:
Dec 26, 2024 – Jan 8, 2025

Honors Credit:

WKU Course:

Psychology , History , English , Literature

Course Description:

Bram Stoker's novel Dracula relied on new ideas in scientific psychology. In this class, we will explore developing ideas about hypnosis, sexuality, paranoia, hysteria, masochism, spirituality, and evolutionary continuity while examining how they were employed in Dracula. We will visit locations relevant to Stoker's life as well as his writing of Dracula, including Highgate Cemetery, the London Zoo, the British Museum, the Lyceum Theater (where Stoker worked), and the Victoria & Albert Museum.

None. Open to students of all majors.

Physical Activity Requirements:
Contact Faculty

Course Highlights:
  • Dive into the intriguing world of vampires and the supernatural, unraveling Victorian cultural perspectives on insanity, parapsychology, consciousness, and other fascinating psychological phenomena.
  • Journey to iconic sites like the London Zoo, the British Museum, and the Lyceum Theater, where Stoker himself once worked.
  • Explore the origins of gothic sensibility at Strawberry Hill and delve into the depths of psychoanalysis at the Freud Museum.
  • Embark on walking tours, tracing the footsteps of Bram Stoker in London and unraveling the mysteries of Jack the Ripper's haunting legacy.
  • Ring in the New Year with fireworks above Buckingham Palace.