Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Sarah Michelle Gellar
Credit: Richard Cartwright

The third Slayage Conference on the Whedonverses (SC3) kicks off todayat Henderson State University in Arkansas. It’s not the first scholarly gathering devoted to Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I remember speaking to Joss Whedon in 2002, about a UK academic conference called Blood, Text, and Fears. He said he wished he could be there to hear the live debate on the paper titled “The Spike/Buffy Relationship: Law, Morals, Rape and S&M; orYou Always Hurt the One You Love.” Still, more than 90 papers will be presented at SC3, which covers BtVS, Angel, Firefly, and Whedon’s film career. You can check out the program on the conference’s site. Which titles speak to you? My picks:

Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
• “‘When You Kiss Me, I Want to Die’: Gothic Relationships and Social Taboos on BtVS
• “A Sexy Fuddy-Duddy and a Woman Who Knows How to Moisturize: Adulthood, Authority, and Sex in BtVS” [Giles and Joyce!!!]
• “‘Kicking Ass Is Comfort Food’: Girlie Feminism, Violence, and the Slayer”
• “… And Yet’: The Limitations of Buffy’s Feminism”
• “‘It’s Just… Painful’: Love and the Wounded Vampire”
• “The Buffy-Riley Leitmotif and Musical Evidence for the Romantic Conflation of Angel and Riley” [No idea what that means, really, but I like the word conflation.]
• “‘Here Endeth the Lesson’: Spike’s Torturous Romances and Life Laid Bare”
• “‘You Let Him Domesticate You’: Anya/Anyanka and Insensitive Interpretations of Consumer and Domestic Stereotypes in Buffy the Vampire Slayer
• “Lies My Mother Told Me: Moms and Offspring in the Buffyverse. Is Death the Only Gift Mothers Can Give?”
• “‘It’s Only Our Methods That Differ. We Use the Latest in Scientific Technology and State-of-the-Art Weaponry, and You… Poke Them with a Sharp Stick’: Various Methods for Teaching with Buffy” [There are teachers and professors who use Buffy in the classroom? AWESOME.]

addCredit(“Sarah Michelle Gellar: Richard Cartwright”)

• “‘I Don’t Know What Kind of Man I Am Anymore’: The Damaged Man in Angel and Post-Angel Cult Television”
• “Cordelia Chase: Sunnydale Cheerleader and L.A. ‘Rogue Demon Huntress,’ the Feminine Myth Deconstructed”
• “Gazing at Male Vampires: Angel’s and Spike’s Bodies as Spectacle” [!!!!!]
• “Nothing Left but Skin and Cartilage: The Body and Toxic Masculinity”
• “To Shanshu or Not to Shanshu”
• “Evil intelligence: Angel versus Angelus”
• “Vampire Noir: How Angel Subverts the Detective Genre”
• “What the Hell? — Angel’s ‘The Girl in Question'”
• “‘Sometimes You Have to… Compromise’: Lilah as Lawyer” [An unexplored character, I believe.]

• “River Is Wolverine: Whedon Performs a Sex Change”
• “‘Big Damn Heroes’: The Modernization of Western Archetypes in Joss Whedon’s Firefly

General Joss
• “New Lines: The Fan and Textual Poaching in the Work of Joss Whedon”
• “Myth, Metaphor, Morality and Monsters: How Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Other Works by Joss Whedon Changed Ethical Thought Forever”
• “The Real Hell Dimension: Joss Whedon’s Film Career” [Ha.]

Your turn.

P.S. If there is an issue in the Whedonverse you’d like to explore,feel free to reveal the title of your forthcoming paper below as well.I’m working on “‘… And, I Think It’s Kinda Pretty’: Angel’s Third Identity, Fanilow, Demystified.”

Buffy the Vampire Slayer
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