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Whedonesque - a community weblog about Joss Whedon
"He's ten times the man you are, and you're, like, forty guys!"
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September 07 2006

"It's the End of the World ... Again": UNCG Buffy Studies Class is Now in Session. The Slayer does indeed still matter, and enthusiastic BtVS fans showing up for the first night's class proved it. Vacating a 60-seat-capacity room for a much larger auditorium (with giant video screen!) in the nearby student center, the night began with S1's "Welcome to the Hellmouth" and "The Harvest."

Discussion of the episodes, touching on everything from the sexuality of vampires to Buffy's representation of female empowerment, went on for a good half-hour afterwards, with thoughtful input from viewers old and new. (It's too bad we won't be getting graded for our participation, because based on this night's commentary I'm pretty sure everyone would be getting an A :)

As a BtVS/AtS fan who's long felt isolated on the East Coast, and particularly in this southern region of the country, it was wonderful to feel that sense of Buffy-verse community coming together. Just hearing so many people laughing at the same lines, and knowing everyone there was enjoying the show as much as the presence of others who shared the same love of Joss's work, was amazing. Instant camaraderie -- just add the Whedonverse and stir (once more, with feeling)!

Apparently Sabrina Boyer and Lydia Howard, who organized the class, are hoping this leads to the possibility of a for-credit pop culture class on Buffy being added to the university's curriculum. It's very apparent from talking with both of them that their appreciation of Joss and his work is deep, genuine and broad-based in its aspirations for the community. They were blown away by the larger-than-expected crowd that showed up, and are considering adding more evenings for episode showings and discussion, as well as putting together a gathering before the spring mini-conference that will feature fan fiction, testimonials and poetry. Our local TV station even showed up, filming a brief segment for their 11 p.m. newscast (which they showed in the first 10 minutes, no less).

All in all, it was a great start to what promises to be a fun and memorable exploration of the Slayer in the south. And I'm so excited for the next class I can't stand it (not that it's at all obvious or anything)...

That's incredibly exciting...proving once again the cultural importance of this show and Joss's work in general. I wish I could just show up to audit this class!
It sounds like it's going to be a great experience, Wiseblood. I'm sure you'll enjoy it.

I thought I'd look to see if there were any similar courses or lectures in my area and discovered that at least one professor at each of our two major local universities have presented papers at Slayage, one of them (Jes Battis) even winning an award for the best Buffy essay in 2004. He is currently teaching a teen literature course and in the curriculum guide, lists the following as recommended television viewing:

Degrassi Jr. High
Degrassi: The Next Generation
Popular
Freaks and Geeks
Queer As Folk
Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Joan of Arcadia
Wonderfalls
Six Feet Under

He has also written an article entitled Captain Tight-Pants: Joss Whedon's Firefly and the Science Fiction Canon.
That sounds wonderful. Thanks for sharing.
This makes me really happy. I love the idea of this kind of thing. I would love to see something like this spread.

Glad you could go Wiseblood, and thanks for the description.
Report appreciated, joy shared.
Thanks for keeping us updated. I love that this class is happening and that the turnout was even better than expected.
I've been contacted by the class's administrators (thanks, ya'll :) and they'd like me to mention that this year-long series is not a formal class -- meaning, not for credit -- and that it's completely open to the public. Anyone can come at any time during the scheduled sessions, whether it's simply to watch the episodes, chill with your peeps, offer incisive commentary, listen and learn, or any combination thereof.

So greentara, or any other interested/curious/obsessed folks within driving distance of Greensboro, North Carolina, please come, bring your buds, hang out, meet some new friends and talk (and talk and talk...) about our favorite Slayer and her 'verse. Sure, the showings are held during the week, but seriously: sleep or Buffy? I mean, you can sleep when you're dead ;)
I wish I lived in NC or went to that college! But alas no. Although my Lectures in Lit professor did mention Buffy on our first day of class. Oh and Buffy ALWAYS prevails over sleep! lol

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