Stumbled across an interesting essay covering an aspect of vampire research you rarely see in English language works on the subject.
That is, eighteenth century dissertations on the undead. Before Summers, those guys kicked off vampire research as a serious field of study. Their contributions to the genre can not be underestimated.
Koen Vermeir's essay (opens as a pdf), 'Vampires as creatures of the imagination: theories of body, soul and imagination in early modern vampire tracts (1659-1755)' is essential reading. It also touches on the whole 'who was the first true vampire' thing I've been discussing here. I e-mailed him*, asking if it would appear in print form.
Vermeir let me know** that his final version of the paper will feature in Diseases of the imagination and imaginary disease in the early modern period (Brepols Publishers, forthcoming), edited by Y. Haskell.
* 'Vampires as Creatures of the Imagination', Thursday, 4 August 2011 4:53:39 AM.
** 'Re: Vampires as Creatures of the Imagination', Sunday, 7 August 2011 3:59:43 AM.