Thursday, April 21, 2011

Day Two!

To begin with, let me say that the touristy area of San Antonio is just lovely. There's usually a nice breeze coming off the river that helps dissipate some of the heat that concentrates in the concrete valleys of downtown and the city knows that the Riverwalk is a huge tourist attraction, so it's inviting and friendly, with lots of helpful guides and police and plenty of restaurants and shops and dazzling lights. FryDaddy and I had Tex-Mex for dinner, followed by Blue Bell ice cream, which was eaten while sitting on an ironwork balcony overlooking the darkened river. All in all, quite a nice ending to a lovely day in Texas.

The conference was in full swing today. Since I presented on Day One, I could go a bit causal today and donned my "And then Buffy staked Edward. The End." T-shirt and I wore my long, dangling Scythe earrings that FryDaddy gifted me with for Christmas. Generally, people don't get that outfit, but here - well, people stopped me in the street between the two conference hotels to remark on it. Edward is, of course, the "glittery vampire" from the Twilight franchise, which is a bit of a lightning rod in the scholarly circles in which I move. I'm somewhere in the middle - I think just about anything that gets that many people to read is a good thing on some level and the author certainly knows her audience. That being said, I despise Bella and find many of the tropes that are reinforced in the books to border on dangerous. (Bella, honey, listen to me. Men don't change much and the ones who stalk you aren't loving; they're possessive and creepy. Go to college, get some learning in that pretty little head of yours and make a life for yourself. Oh, and one more thing. Vampires don't glitter! Thank you; I feel much better now.)

Among the papers I heard today - I attended an excellent panel on Civil War photographs (what? I can't have layers?) and learned about the "cult of generals' widows," facial hair (those 1860s whiskers were off the hook! The example at the top of the post is downright tame), and the depiction of medical treatment. I heard a beyond fantastic discussion of fan activism (not the "save our show" variety, but the "let's change the world" type) and a discussion of collecting and attending collectible conventions (such as the juggernaut Comic-Con) as a means of preserving place and time while exerting control over one's space. FryDaddy's paper on Breaking Bad and Athens' theory of "violentization" was quite well received and he was asked insightful and interesting follow-up questions. And a Whedon panel dealt with problems of translation (in the opening credits the final line of the voice-over is "She is the Slayer." In French, it is "Elle s'appelle Buffy" or "She is Buffy," which has a totally different feel), the motifs of death and sacrifice in Season 5 and using the lush episode "Hush" to teach aspects of visual rhetoric (some ideas that I certainly hope to incorporate). See - both broad and deep. You have to love this place.

Then I was simply bushed. That's the shame of it - there's so much more to see and hear than there is time to adequately take it all in. I haven't even hit the book room yet!

Well, Day Three is coming . . .

1 comment:

Nikki Stafford said...

OK, that digression on Edward and Bella just made my day. I think you and I feel exactly the same way on the issue. Hence our identical shirts! ;)