Anna S. Oppenhagen-Petrescu
Department of Sanguinary History
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Anna-Silvia Oppenhagen-Petrescu was born in 1948 to Danish-Romanian parents, Adrian Petrescu and Marie Oppenhagen. Adrian and Marie had immigrated from the Continent whilst Marie was pregnant to the quiet London suburb of Kensington, where they raised their only daughter in relative tranquility.1
The life of a young scholar is often tediously predictable, and young Anna was educated in the usual single-sex boarding schools before entering the equally homogenous St. Hilda's College, Oxford University. She studied Classics there under the watchful eye of Dr. Ambrose K. Mosshammer, who in her final year of study graciously Converted her in recognition of her great talent.2
Once Anna had graduated, her interest shifted from the roots of human civilization in Ancient Greece to the roots of Vampiric civilization in the Slavic states and Central Europe. Her unromantic and strictly researched work in the field of Proto-History is widely recognized as having been one of the foundations of the field. In 1983, she helped to establish the Order of the Ivory Tooth, an association of literary historians who set out to archive the entirety of the Vampiric Corpus-that is, the sum total of all literature involving Vampires in the West. While this goal is far from complete, the Order is now one of the most highly respected institutions among the Vampiric elite, and its work, and ritual conferences, are watched with great interest.
In the early eighties, while a humble lecturer at the University of the Danube,3 Anna was also involved in the Eden Project, a think-tank which aimed to definitively prove or debunk the ever-popular claims of pre-Slavic heritage through Lilith. In recent years, the Edenites have shifted their focus to documenting the Dark Ages of the Classical World and Early Semitic Culture, in which the records of Vampiric activity are so scarce as to be by and large discounted by the academic majority. The "Lilith Question," a now-ubiquitous term coined by Dr. Moira Russell, Anna's partner in Edenism, was never qualitatively answered, and the two disagree on the subject to this day.
In 1986, Anna was hired as a tenure-track professor at the University of Constantinople, where she produced her enormous and definitive critical work, She Drained Me Of My Very Marrow: The Female Vampire in History and Literature.4 The success and influence of this work cannot be overestimated, and continues to be the bedrock of Black Feminism,5 a movement which has become something of a juggernaut in recent years. In fact, it was largely due to the popularity of this "lay" history that the loose confederation of Night Campuses organized the first of its annual Conferences in Madrid, in 1993. Of course there are many other conferences around the world, and meetings of various Societies, but the general Conference of Shadow-Academia is by far the largest, most prestigious, and well-attended. It is, nowadays, simply referred to as "The Conference."6
Disagreements arose between Anna and the Faculty of Sanguinary History at Constantinople, largely revolving around Anna's involvement with the Edenites and her insistence on encouraging her graduate students to generate texts of their own to counter the horde of human literature on the subject of Vampires.7 In 1991, she left Constantinople and took the prestigious Geisslerin Chair at the University of Budapest, where she teaches to this day.
Anna remains unmarried.8
1. It is considered somewhat gauche to reference one's mortal parentage when in polite society. Most modern vampires trace their heritage purely through the line of Conversion, often in the Spanish style, in which case Anna's rather baroque moniker would be Anna-Silvia Oppenhagen-Petrescu y Mosshammer y Chamberlain, etc. Nevertheless, for the sake of the laity, she has chosen to briefly recount the flotsam and jetsam of her pre-Conversion existence here. Those of standing in the Community may feel secure in passing by this piece of historical curiosity.
2. Dr. Mosshammer has kindly agreed to write an introduction to Dr. Petrescu's forthcoming work, Exsanguinations: A Handbook for the Educated Vampire. (University of Csejthe Press, 2005) The apprentice-master relationship between many vampires and the quasi-parental figures who Converted them is well-documented, but Dr. Mosshammer has been particularly supportive, and the editors of this site wish to take this opportunity to publicly thank him.
3. And thus able to take part in such specious feminist activities, as the Danube is well-known as a hotbed of radical thought and shoddy workmanship-even popularly referred to as "The Berkeley of Eastern Europe."
4. University of Darvulia Press, 1987.
5. Black Feminism, a movement which centralizes the role of the female Vampire, the succubus, in Sanguinary History, is somewhat tainted in the view of most historians due to its roots in human scholarship. In the mortal world, second-wave feminism resulted in a great deal of literature-much of which was written by women like Anna who would later be Converted, bringing this rather specialized interest into their Vampiric studies. In addition, many find it ridiculous, in light of the great Vampires of literature being predominantly male, to privilege the role of the female-in essence, placing the role of the Three Sisters over that of Dracula. However, Black Feminists trace their lineage through such actual Vampire personages as Elizabeth Bathory, Clara Geisslerin, Augusta Gordon, and Emily Draper, scoffing at any attempt to drag Dracula into serious discussions of gender in the Community. This remains a controversy which finds Anna and her colleagues at its center, however, it has been suggested that since Anna herself was Converted by a male Vampire, she ought to be more grateful to the masculine animus, and confine herself to more traditional histories.
6.The 2005 Conference will take place July 25-29 in Lodz, Poland, hosted by Plogojiwitz University. Hotels fill up quickly, so reservations are suggested.
7.Much as it was once considered beneath mortal nobility to engage in mercantile activities, it is widely asserted that for Vampires to produce their own quasi-fictional texts is vulgar in the highest degree. To speak for ourselves threatens the exposure of our entire Community, and most agree that the formulation of ridiculous and outlandish stories of bloodletting and cannibalism ought to be left to those mortal authors who find it titillating.
8.Predictably, this has caused a number of rumors to arise as to the orientation of Dr. Petrescu. While the editors of this site feel that such a subject is merely salacious and has no place in a professional biography, or in the parlor rooms of certain aged male Faculty members, they will note, without commentary, that Dr. Petrescu has co-habitated with the Italian Edenite scholar Genevra Verzini in Budapest since 1995.
© 2004–2007 Anna S. Oppenhagen-Petrescu, Catherynne M. Valente