Dracula’s “Nordic Cousins: Vampiric Traditions and Representations Across Media.” – (A Virtual Presentation)
October 30 @ 1:00 pm - 2:00 pmFree
.(photo courtesy of Wikipedia Commons-Philip-Burne Jones-The Vampire)
Livsreise is pleased to welcome back Dr. Jared Schmidt, who previously presented here at Livsreise in March of 2019.
When you hear the word, “vampire,” what comes to mind? Is it a suave, aristocratic gentleman inspired by Bela Lugosi? Perhaps the otherworldly face of Nosferatu’s Count Orlok haunts in the shadows inching up your staircase? Or do they sparkle in the sunlight like Twilight’s Edward Cullen? How about a reindeer? Just in time for Halloween, this presentation will introduce audience members to a handful of Count Dracula’s Nordic cousins. Folklorist Dr. Jared L. Schmidt will lead a survey across time and storytelling mediums about a handful of select vampires (and vampires-adjacent beings). Examples covered will include the ghost-like draugr that loomed in Viking nightmares, to Norwegian Expressionist painter Edvard Munch’s chilling “Vampire,” and the 1952 Finnish film, “The White Reindeer.” Along the journey, you will hopefully learn not only about the undead in Nordic folklore and artistic traditions, but what these vampiric-beings say about the values of the cultures whose spines they sent shivers down. And perhaps you will learn a trick or two about how to protect yourself from Dracula’s blood-sucking Norse family members!
Dr. Jared L. Schmidt was born and raised in rural southwest Minnesota. After high school he attended college in northwest Iowa. Upon completing his undergraduate in psychology, he joined AmeriCorps and served for two years as a VISTA in Montana. In 2012, Jared returned to his home state to pursue a master’s in Applied Anthropology. After completing this degree, he moved to Madison WI to pursue a PhD in Folklore Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. While at Wisconsin, Jared attained his M.A. in Comparative Literature and Folklore Studies (Folklore Option). In 2019, Jared relocated to the Oregon coast. At the same time COVID-19 began to spread around the world, Jared took on a digital teaching assistant position at UW-Madison for a course about the vampire in literature and film. That summer, he was elevated to the position of the course’s lecturer, which has significantly shaped his academic interests. In July 2021, Jared successfully defended his dissertation about the occupational folklife of costumed, third-person interpreters at the living history farm, Old World Wisconsin, and how their labor and traditions help foster a sense of agricultural and immigrant heritage.
Currently, Jared is a member of the adjunct faculty at both Tillamook Bay Community College (Tillamook, OR) and Southwestern Oregon Community College (Coos Bay, OR). He serves as an editor for the online, peer reviewed journal New Directions in Folklore and is a founding member of and contributor to the social media brand, Folkwise, which aims to produce engaging folklore-related content through new, innovative mediums for a general audience. Jared also currently holds an Archie Green Fellowship through the Library of Congress American Folklife Center, which is funding his research about the working dairy traditions of individuals responsible for making cheese in Tillamook County.
Dr. Schmidt’s research interests include heritage, folk art, material culture, foodways, museum studies, digital folklore, occupational folklife, and, of course, vampires.