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Blood-thirsty scholars gulp 'Buffy'-related concoctions

From Chicago Tribune (registration required)
Published November 7, 2002

How many scholars want to train their sights on television's "Buffy the Vampire Slayer"?
Far more than you might think, judging from the 150 or so people who attended the recent "Blood, Text and Fears" Buffy conference at the University of East Anglia in the English city of Norwich. Joss Whedon created the show, "BtVS," for short, which stars Sarah Michelle Gellar as a young vampire slayer in California. The critically acclaimed show, now on UPN and in its seventh season, along with a WB spinoff, "Angel," have inspired a raft of what are called "Buffy studies."

They often are a curious mix of pop culture and academic pondering. Witness the list below of many of the lectures and papers from the conference, noted on the university's Web site.

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- Pain as Bright as Steel: The Monomyth and Light as pain in "BtVS."
- Unaired Pilot of Bad Quarto: Textual Problems in "Buffy" and Shakespeare in an Internet Age.
- Resurrecting The Author: Joss Whedon's Place in Buffy's Textual Universe.
- A Religion in Narrative: Joss Whedon and Television Creativity.
- Passing for American: British and Vampire Identities in "Buffy."
- Imaginary Para-Sites of the Soul: Representations of Race and Culture in "Angel."
- Brainwashing the Working Class: Vampire Comics and Criticism from Dr. Occult to Buffy.
- From Metropolis to Melrose Place: Morphic Resonance in "BtVS."
- Playing with Dracula: Joss Whedon's Creative Adaptation of the Vampire Genre.
- Deprimere ille babula linter?: crossing over, reading through and puzzling out in the Buffyverse.
- Don't Speak Latin in Front of the Books.
- What's Up with Vampires Anyway? (The science of the undead in Buffyverse).
- "It'll go straight to your thighs": food and drink issues in "BtVS" and "Angel."
- Slaying: The stakes of the Warrior.
- History as Nightmare.
- The Fool (for Love): Spike as Trickster.
- Blood, Spirit, Bodies, and Technology in "BtVS."
- "You hold your gun like a sissy girl": Firearms and Anxious Masculinity in "BtVS."
- Modern and Mythical Sexuality in "BtVS."
- Playing Buffy: Form, Tension and Interactivity in the Video-Game Version of "BtVS."
- Unheimlich manoeuvres: How "BtVS" Saved My World.
- Horror, Hope and Heroes: Practical Theology in "BtVS."
- School Harder -- Using "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" to Stretch Young Minds.
- From the Screen to the Scene: Representations of the Teen Witch in "BtVS" and Its Impact Upon Teen Girl Identity in Contemporary Britain.
- "They show up, they scare us, I beat them up, and they leave" -- the Dialectic of Self-Knowledge in "BtVS."
- Yeats' Entropic Gyre and Season Six of "BtVS."
- Pylea: A fairytale for the Buffyverse.
- "You made a wish to someone you've never seen before?": the dangerous power of speech acts in BtVS.
- Tuning Bodies in TV Series: the Straight and the Gay Male Body in "Angel" and "Queer as Folk."
- Blood sausage, bangers, and mash: British English and Britishness in "BtVS."
- Extending Your Mind: The Role of Non-Standard Perlocutionary Acts in "Buffy."
- Drusilla: Disruptive Monster, Dark Goddess, Daddy's Girl.
- Good Girls Go To Hell -- the `Other' Willow.
- Leaves of Dark Willow: Beyond the Metaphor of Magical Addiction.
- I Believe the Subtext Here is Rapidly Becoming Text: Music, Gender and Fantasy in "BtVS."
- Meaning and Myth: Leitmotivic Procedures in the Musical Underscore to "Angel," Season One.
- Parasocialism and "BtVS."

Copyright © 2002, Chicago Tribune
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