Summer 2019

Degree Name

Master of Arts in English (M.A.)

Type of Paper/Work



Dr. Alexis Easley, Dr. Martin Warren, Dr. Clare Clarke


Inspired by Alice Bolin’s Dead Girls: Essays on Surviving an American Obsession, this personal essay explores the history of the Dead Girl archetype in crime fiction and beyond, meditating on the ways in which the Dead Girl has infiltrated almost every realm of Western culture. The Dead Girl, and her sister the Living Dead Girl, are figures that allows patriarchal writers to include women in their fiction at the expense of female agency, authenticity and life, as seen in the frequency with which dead women decorate the page and the screen. An examination of crime fiction illustrates the qualities of both tropes and the current problems within the genre itself as a result of their continued usage. The focus then shifts to the Gothic, a genre of transgression, and the search for a figure to stand against these “Dead” tropes. Through an analysis of the YouTube serial Carmilla: The Series, this essay defines and presents the “Un- dead Girl” as a model for the future of feminist storytelling.



Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.