Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1997-2003) is one of the most widely studied popular culture texts with many of its own academic monographs, essay collections, and the biannual peer-reviewed journal Slayage. Important for its subversion of the horror genre through its strong female protagonist, it inaugurated the teen vampire phenomenon, increased representation of LGBTQ characters on mainstream television, and depicted trailblazing representations of violence on television. It is an important text for the relationship between religion and popular culture and has been cited as an example of the ‘post-modern sacred’. The cultural text of Buffy is so rich in portrayals, interpretations, and interactions with religious narratives and tropes that it is infinitely mineable as a vehicle to explore the relationship between religion, ritual, belief and pop culture. This conference brings together, for the first time, leading scholars and new researchers to investigate the contribution religion and the Bible makes to the construction of the Buffyverse and its reception. The conference will also use Buffy as a case study to interrogate interdisciplinary methodologies and frameworks for studying the relationship between religion and popular culture. We will take Sheffield’s tradition of celebrating Buffy as a cultural phenomenon forward.
This event will run as a formal one and a half day interdisciplinary conference with 15 papers, a creative workshop from our conference artist Lily Daniels, and a keynote address from Professor Matthew Pateman (Edge Hill University) exploring the intersections of religion, pop culture, and the enduring legacy of the seminal television show Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Professor Pateman is an internationally renowned expert on the works of Joss Whedon (the creator of Buffy), and television studies more broadly. There will also be a welcome event in the form a screening of a Buffy’s musical episode “Once More With Feeling” and a research poster session.
Emma Nagouse (University of Sheffield)
Other student organisers
- Mary Going (University of Sheffield)
- Naomi Hetherington (University of Sheffield)
- Holly Dann (University of Sheffield)
- Kelly Richards D'Arcy-Reed (University of York)
- Dana Alex (Kingston University London)