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May 30 2006

SC2: Slayage Conference on the Whedonverses. Report on the second Slayage conference.

BtVS, AtS, Firefly/Serenity, Astonishing X-Men, Fray, Wonder Woman, and more. Links from this LJ report to a couple others...

There's some more reports, here, here and here.
Thanks for the links - the language bit about Buffy and Faith would have been great to hear. Do the presentations get publushed in the journal Slayage?

I would love to hear from any if our peeps who attended or presented. Share with us!
I both attended and presented. I'm still trying to wrap my head around the massive amount of information that was given this past weekend. I will say that all Whedonian's have such a lovely sense of comraderie, even when disagreeing with one another on any given topic.

And, I am very sorry for anyone who missed a large group of academics/Whedonverse fans singing all of the songs from "Once More with Feeling" and "Firefly." You don't see that often.

The conference was more than I could have imagined and has certainly re-kindled my interest in continuing my Whedon studies as a non-career academic.
Abstracts of most conference papers can be found here, if you want to get a summary of the presentations. People were invited to submit their complete conference papers on the Slayage site, but that's not the same as publication in the journal. Some conference papers probably will be expanded, revised, and published in the Slayage journal.
Actually, there is a thread over at whedonesque.org about people's responses, including some people who delivered papers, and people like me who just attended.

Like ctofine, whose paper I was unable to hear (sorry!), I'm still trying to come to grips with all that I heard. Undergraduates to long-time academics presented papers, and the topics were as varied as one could possibly imagine. The keynote and featured speakers were uniformly informative and entertaining, and, yes, the sing-along was a hoot. I overheard some impassioned expressions along the lines of "season 6 was just reprehensible, with Willow not being punished" -- and some strong opinions regarding the difference between the seemingly non-Pax-made Reaver from Bushwhacked and the Pax-made Reavers from Serenity -- so the fires have not died down (as we know full well from some of the recent threads here). But for the most part, people were just happy to talk about the shows with others who share the passion. While I often found myself merely nodding in agreement with speakers who brought up points we have talked about here in the black, or that went little beyond what already appears in the many books on Buffy et al., there were a few papers that were truly thought-provoking, providing me with new insights into how different episodes or story arcs might be interpreted.

I had a good time and am glad that I went, and I got to share many good laughs and conversations -- and another OMWF sing-along in the car driving back to our home town -- with April. I met a couple of non-Whedonesquers with whom I will likely maintain contact -- and I was shocked (!) to meet a couple of people who had never heard of Whedonesque. I remedied that quickly!
and I was shocked (!) to meet a couple of people who had never heard of Whedonesque


I shall have words with our marketing people. "Make mine a Whedonesque" doesn't seem to be working as a slogan.

Sounds like like everyone has a good time at the conference.
Oh--did I mention that I was there? My reports on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.

Next conference in 2008! Be there! Who knows what Joss will do in the next two years? Besides Wonder Woman, that is?

[ edited by Maeve on 2006-05-30 20:53 ]
Posters can link to their own reports in comments. And I'd like to read it.
I'm a long ways from being able to digest what I heard and did, let alone report, but to answer a couple of things that have been mentioned:

The Slayage journal site will host papers for any presenter who sends a copy to them. This does not equate to being published in Slayage. Rhonda Wilcox and David Lavery were very explicit in saying that any author who is considering submitting to Slayage for publication should not send their papers for general posting. (Their reason is valid; they do blind reviews for the journal, and don't want the editorial board to recognize who wrote what based on papers already being posted.) Last time around, about one-third to one-half of presented papers got posted.

They are considering holding the next conference in 2007, rather than wait until 2008. Nothing solid yet, but they've had some attractive offers from various colleges for hosting.
On the argument that 'sex is always bad' in the jossverse, I always saw Chosen as the last turning of cliche on it's head. We go from bad boyfriend who appears to want the heroine to traffic on the dark side, to boyfriend being transformed by heroine, and becoming the 'ultimate' good guy/hero/boyfriend by taking on her values and creed(mission before love)and turning into the light.

I think that Touched makes it pretty clear that sex does not equal bad, and that love transcends sex. All around I think the scoobies realized that sex wasn't the big bad the teen years promised, but that with maturity they realized that your demon girlfriend wasn't bad, your bad boyfriend was actually struggling every bit as you, and that your special lover was actually just someone who cared for you deeply and wasn't somehow magical, mystical or made what you 'were' special. In the end, the cliche had to be upended to show just how far the scoobs had grown.
I suggest we move most of this discussion over to whedonesque.org, since the thread here in the black will disappear in a day or so. If you're linking conference reports here, please link them over there, also.
It's about time we had another conference in the UK. We had the first ever, at UEA, and it was brilliant but since then nothing!
I was there but did not present (this year... maybe next time). As mentioned above there is indeed a thread on the .org forum where many of us are posting our thoughts. But for anyone that doesn't head over there I'll mention here that David confirmed there WILL be another Slayage, and that it was rumored among some that it would be next year rather than '08 as MKM just pointed out. Personally I'd love to go to one of these at LEAST once every year, but that will make the creation, perfection and submission of papers for the next gathering a pretty rushed affair.

Also, rumors abounded as to possible location for the next one (whenever it happens to be), but I think the most likely suspect of the lot is UC Berkeley in San Francisco.
By gum, if it's Berkeley, I am *so* there. I'll be done with my own dissertation by then and hopefully can submit something for presentation in time. Oooh, baby. Even if I don't present I'd love ever so much to attend.

[ edited by phlebotinin on 2006-05-31 00:02 ]
Hmmm. Berkeley. That's where my brother-in-law and his family live. *thinks*. I could do a paper too.
UC Berkeley in San Francisco


Haunt, for shame. UC Berkeley is in Berkeley, a whole San Francisco Bay away from San Francisco.

And by George I'd be delighted to attend my alma mater for such a thing. (And maybe Jane E. would too . . . ). I could even submit a paper on Buffy and law, um, what about Who Would Buffy Sue?.

Kidding.

But actually a plethora of interesting legal issues arise in BtVS (not even going to the Wolfram & Hart thing) that are intertwined with the issues of morality many have written about before. To what extent can or should society seek to punish or regulate the actions of the characters? Could Angel or Spike be deemed responsible for their actions as unsouled demons, or would they have a diminished responsibility defense? OK, interesting to me anyway . . . stopping now.
I could even submit a paper on Buffy and law


There was an excellent presentation by two Canadian law professors about how they use Wolfram & Hart in teaching first-year law.
That's great, MKM. Haven't had a chance to read any of the reports, but I'll take a gander.
Oh Berkely would be great. I love CA and I would love to go to that one.

I had a great time at the conference, palehorse was incredibly nice, and I enjoyed my presentation. If its true about Berkely, I am so there! And next time I would love to meet you guys.

Cheers everyone.
Oh dod. Oh dod. If it's Berkeley (or any points north of there on the left coast), I might even be able to make it!

MKM--welcome back! Or something. I haven't had a chance to read any of the reports yet, but I hope you really enjoyed yourself. It's 2 a.m. plus here right now and I'm headed to bed, but I'm hoping to check all this out more thoroughly tomorrow, er, this evening.

Thanks, all, for the links, etc. And, SNT, I'd be very interested in reading something like Who Would Buffy Sue? But wasn't Buffy's middle name "Anne"? Sorry, couldn't resist that. Bed time now.
Who Would Buffy Sue?, lol. Well, who wouldn't she sue? The school board, for one. Nice looking after the welfare of students, not to mention that whole building-on-a-hellmouth thing. Maybe there's also some suing to be done for cursing her boyfriend and making her love life so, er, challenging. ;-)
David Lavery didn't want to announce out loud just yet where the next conference would be, but he alluded to a place so cool they couldn't say no. He did mention it privately to some, so WOW if it turns out to be Berkeley. I've always needed a reason to go!!!!!

Palehorse and I attended and it was excellent! We met quite a few nice people. Sadly, I didn't get to attend all the lectures I wanted to -- there were so many. I'm so glad I went. My favorite papers/presentations turned out to be on topics I simply hadn't ever thought much about or never dreamed might be possible or interesting. I mean really. Ya gotta respect ladies that can make Mathematics in The Whedonverse totally interesting and thought provoking!

I'll post more on .org as soon as I get a chance. I'll be so sad if I can't make it to Berkely but oh my goodness that will cost just a bit more. I only live 4 hours driving from Barnesville, GA!

PS Devin was very nice, too.
April, my Better Half and I were in that same session where David announced that he couldn't publicly announce anything yet.

And we're also only about 4 hours from Barnesville, which definitely made it a bit more convenient. But we were married in San Fran, and we've been DYING for an excuse to go back.

[ edited by Haunt on 2006-06-01 04:30 ]

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