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‘Who ordered the hamburger with AIDS?’: Haematophilic Semiotics in Tru(e) Blood

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This article analyses the role of blood in the American series True Blood. It opens with a reassessment of sexual readings of vampires that complements previous work on their metaphorical significance for Queer Studies and focuses on the complex AIDS burger sequence in Season One. The article then explores how artificial blood, ‘TruBlood’, may function as a radical attack on vampires which mirrors how commodity culture has adapted to suit the needs of marginal communities. Lastly, the article turns to non-genetic blood ties to show how ‘true’ blood (i.e. personal or individual) is the only substance that actually unites creatures in the series.
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Keywords: AIDS; True Blood; alterity; blood; commodity; community; sexuality; vampire

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Manchester Metropolitan University

Publication date: May 1, 2013

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  • The official journal of the International Gothic Association considers the field of Gothic studies from the eighteenth century to the present day. The aim of Gothic Studies is not merely to open a forum for dialogue and cultural criticism, but to provide a specialist journal for scholars working in a field which is today taught or researched in almost all academic establishments. Gothic Studies invites contributions from scholars working within any period of the Gothic; interdisciplinary scholarship is especially welcome, as are readings in the media and beyond the written word.

    Gothic Studies is also available in an unrivalled electronic collection, Manchester Gothic that also includes 40 eBooks on gothic literature and culture written by leading names in the field and covers literature, film, television, theatre and visual arts, dating from the eighteenth century to the present day.

    Manchester Gothic aims to explain why gothic studies is so prevalent in the fields of art, film, literature and culture by providing easy access to digital texts, essays and studies in all things gothic. From the study of gothic and death to monsters, vampires, werewolves and ghosts as well as studies on visionaries such as Terry Gilliam, Alan Moore and Terence Fisher; Manchester Gothic brings them all together in one easy to use resource see Manchester Gothic.
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