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:
June 3, 2023 —June 24, 2023

Honors Credit:

WKU Course:
PSY 299 / PSY 499

Psychology , History , English , Literature

Course Description:
Bram Stoker wrote Dracula in the late 19th century, a time of revolutionary intellectual change, when Darwin’s theory of evolution challenged conventional biology, scientists were studying supernatural phenomena, and the scientific discipline of Psychology was founded. This class will explore these developments by visiting sites such as the Victoria and Albert and British Museums, the Bethlem Museum of the Mind, Highgate Cemetery, and London Zoo. We will focus on Stoker and the imaginative ways he treated new ideas about mental illness, hypnotism and sexuality and sample contemporary treatment of such issues on the Jack the Ripper walking tour and the play The Woman in Black.

An introductory Psychology course would be useful, but not essential.

Physical Activity Requirements:
Contact Faculty

Course Highlights:
“We’ll explore the world of vampires and the supernatural, as well as Victorian cultural views on insanity, women, consciousness, multiple personality, parapsychology, and other fascinating Psychological phenomena.” – Robert Mitchell