Transylvanian Society of Dracula

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The Transylvanian Society of Dracula (TSD) is a cultural-historic, non-profit, non-governmental organization. Its members include Romanian and international scholars, folklorists, historians, esoterists, writers, cultural anthropologists, and individuals interested in comparative religion, magic and mythology.[1] The TSD organizes scholarly activities both in Romania and abroad,[2][3] as well as tours to sites of TSD interest in Romania.[4] Some high ranked Romanian members make money out of the touristic activities of the organization, through the Company of Mysterious Journeys tourist agency. Modifications to this agency have occurred since the founder Nicolae Paduraru died. The Halloween 2011 tour, for example, did not include Bran Castle or Curtea Veche -in spite of what was published in their web site-, but it included a beauty pageant. One of the Romanian members of TSD working at the agency was one of the presenters of such pageant.

History[edit]

TSD was founded in the early 1990s by a group of writers, Romanian scholars, tourism experts, and others interested in Dracula and vampire folklore in Romania. Taking the lead was Nicolae Paduraru, formerly with the Romanian Ministry of Tourism. Paduraru died in May 2009[5]

In May 1995, the TSD chapter in Romania organized the first World Dracula Congress. This event attracted scholars and aficionados from many countries. The list of speakers included some of the world's leading experts in the field, like Gordon Melton, Elizabeth Miller, Matei Cazacu and Clive Letherdale. The congress marked the first time when Romanian folklorists have the opportunity to share their knowledge and research in both the vampire legend and the history of Vlad Tepes with their counterparts in the West.[6]

During the conference both the American and the Canadian chapter were established by J. Gordon Melton and Elizabeth Miller[7] respectively. The North American chapter is housed at Pennsylvania's Kutztown University who publishes The Journal of Dracula Studies each year. Edited by Dr Anne DeLong and Dr. Curt Herr, the peer-reviewed journal publishes essays on Vampire Studies from around the world. A short time later, an Italian chapter was founded by Massimo Introvigne, and since 2001, there is a German chapter[8] run by Dr. Mark Benecke.

TSD in North America[edit]

The Canadian Chapter of the Transylvanian Society of Dracula was formed in 1995 following the first World Dracula Congress in Romania, as non-profit corporation. The North American chapter publishes the MLA indexed Journal of Dracula Studiesis published by the Kutztown University’s English department. The North American Chapter of the Transylvanian Society of Dracula (TSD) was formed at Kutztown University in Pennsylvania in 2016[9].

Notes and references[edit]

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