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  • Writer's pictureWendy-Marie Marie

Finding my Vampires

Updated: Dec 22, 2018

Since beginning my PhD at Ohio University last August, I have been trying to wrap my head around the concept of identifying a dissertation topic leading to an academic identity. As a scholar/artist, half of my dissertation is pre-determined to be a new play. The second half will be approximately 100 pages of research connecting with themes in the play. And these two halves put together would equal my academic identity. So who do I want to be?

How do I want to be labelled? I'm already a theatre maker. I'm already a woman. I'm already interesting in themes of the body in performance, specifically women's bodies and what they communicate on stage. So is that the academic I will become? A playwright most likely teaching theater history with a focus on women's studies in performance? But that's so vague and generalized. More of a cluster than an identity. Plus there are a whole lot of other things I'm interested in that do not see the world through the lens of women's issues. Like transformation and fireflies and spirituality and connecting to people and the world and where hate comes from, etc. Was the next four years going to be a general wash of intellectual concepts that leading to a "choose your own ending" identification process?

Then Dr. Brian Collins came to class.

When Professor Collins (Classics and World Religions at OU) presented his lecture, "Hair-Raising Religion: The Role of the Macabre in Hinduism and the Western Gothic Revival" in our Interdisciplinary seminar, I discovered that I had the freedom to choose a dissertation topic as cool as vampire movies, which would lead to me becoming a vampire "expert." I could be a professor of vampires? Why had nobody told me this yet?

Since then I have been on a search for my vampires.

Are my vampires badass women playwrights of the 20th century? Or women rule breakers of the theatre? All I know is that it will have a focus on rebellious women in the theatre and somehow be as cool as vampires. So I've decided to start blogging again. This time to dedicate myself to uncovering options as I move forward with my studies. I plan to share thoughts on playwrights, plays, theatre and anything else that will help uncover the path to my vampires.

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