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May 26 2005

Conference sinks teeth into Buffy's role in teaching. "Academics from across the globe are set to descend on a West Yorkshire university for a three-day conference looking at how TV cult hit Buffy the Vampire Slayer can be used to aid learning."

Interesting. I notice the Chairman of the 'Campaign for Real Education' has criticised the conference, saying that they should concentrate on literature that has 'stood the test of time' - hmm real education?? like slates and chalks and a dunce cap when you get something wrong. I bet the guy has never even seen the show.

Huddersfield isnt far from me - I'd go if I was an academic ;)
A few years ago on the BtVS board I was on we used to discuss each new episode in great detail. On of the regulars, a school age teen, had an English class assignment to read a work and discuss the motives and attitudes of the characters. While most of the class were agahst at such a difficult task she realised this was exactly what she did every week with Buffy. She got top marks for her work.

So watching Buffy certainly helped her.
Interesting find Raven U – you prompted me to go in search of further info. The conference is called “Bring Your Own Subtext: Social life, human experience and the works of Joss Whedon".

It has its own web page which, in addition to the programme, includes the following “We are delighted to announce that Waterstones is also launching two forthcoming books for us, Lorna Jowett's 'Sex and the Slayer' and Stacey Abbott's 'Reading Angel'" and "Milly Williamson's 'The Lure of the Vampire: gender fiction and fandom from Bram Stoker to Buffy' will be out at the end of May, published byWallflower Press.”

If I were back in England in my old stomping grounds this would be but 30 minutes drive away *sigh*
This gives me the courage I need to go ahead and show "Doublemeat Palace" in a college course I'm teaching starting Wednesday evening!
I'm so close to "academic."
I've applied for my first adjunct instructor's job.
"Firefly" is as multicultural as it gets.
Give me a real job and I'll show up at these conferences in person. As always, it boils down to money.
Whedon and curriculum are my two favorite words.
I wonder if, at the conclusion of this conference, the ultimate agreed upon consensus will simply be "Joss is God"?
I adjunct, and I use film in my composition class to help students see in action some of the abstract ideas we discuss during the semester ... recently I've been using Shirow/Oshii's "Ghost in the Shell" in relation to our discussions about the future of communication technology and its potential impact on our thinking, speaking, reading and writing processes.
I've found that students really appreciate the integration of film and television in the curriculum. Who knows? Maybe I'll find a way to integrate "Buffy" or "Angel" somehow!
The Slayage academic conference in Tennessee in 2004 got rave reviews from some of the members of the sadly now extinct Big Bad Board (BBB.net). Although it was an academic conference the regular folkes who went reported on some great papers. I believe Haunt (I am not sure if that is his whedonesque name) posted some of his reviews here. So don't stay away, The Do That Girl, just because it's academic. If I was in Yorkshire, I'd go in a heartbeat. The papers I have read on Slayage are fascinating and alot of them add dimensions to Buffy and Angel that I never would have thought of.
Seconding "ruthless1"'s emotion. If you're a Whedon fan of any stripe, and can get there, check it out.
I think it works wonderfully to use Buffy/Angel in university classes. I was teaching a Latin American science fiction/fantasy class this last semester and used several episodes to provide a basis by which to understand what was the same and different about Latin America.

Went over really well, the students even made a film version of one of the stories we read and named all the characters after actors in the Whedonverse.
A former girlfriend of mine is a Scottish woman who is an administrator at a school just outside of London...she is very skeptical about Buffy and refuses to watch...I sent her the link in hopes of wearing her down by attacking her recalcitrance from another front--thanks for posting!
Chris inVirginia - you are a determined converter!
Hey, I'm a convert myself, Passion, and I do bring a convert's zeal to this particular mission!

Still can't believe we'll see "Serenity" tonight...!
I'm giving a paper at this conference (gave one at Nashville Slayage con too). I'll certainly review the thing afterwards. The Slayage conference was an incredible experience - I've never seen so many academics so excited.

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