The conference officially started yesterday. It's a little staggering to realize the scope of this gathering. Yesterday, I heard presentations from BUFFY scholars from Turkey, Finland, and Italy, as well as mine (which went well, thanks). Today, the UK, Austria, Germany, and Israel are represented. You can check out the full program (including paper titles) over on the conference Website. Just follow the link and choose "conference program." If you want more information, choose "abstracts."
After the presentations finished last night, one of the real delights of a conference like this began - the continued discussion over dinner, coffee, etc. This, by the way, is one of the nice aspects of presenting on the first day - the pressure is off and you get to sit back and listen for new ideas, comment on thoughts that the papers raise, and so forth. (Hey - I may teach public speaking, but that doesn't mean I'm off the "nervous butterflies" hook when it comes to my own speeches!) It hit me at one point of the evening how surreal all of this is - I'm sitting in a cafe in a thousand-year-old city discussing vampires, social theory, the ins and outs of publishing, the reach of popular American culture, and so on. And I'm nearly the only one who can't effortlessly switch between at least two (and often quite a few more) languages.
In fact, today I hope to go to Asia - the Bosphorus that splits Istanbul also is the official border between the continents of Europe and Asia. And I remember how thrilled I was to discover that the Carowinds amusement park straddles the North Carolina-South Carolina line!
Life is indeed wonderfully strange.
I've also added a new link over on the right-hand side of this blog that will be useful for the class. (Remember class?) This one will take you to an excellent, very thorough guide to BUFFY that will supply you with links to the various seasons, an episode guide, information about the "slanguage" of the show, and so forth. Just look for the buttons on the left hand side of the site and have fun playing.