Friday, July 27, 2012

Slayage 5

It's no secret that Joss Whedon got me into the popular culture analysis game.  I've written and presented on his work for six years now and he keeps putting out things that need to get looked at (the Angel & Faith comics have some storylines that deserve examination, for instance, along with a little film called The Avengers that may have slipped by you this summer), so I imagine I'll keep writing about his work.

Every two years since 2004, scholars have gathered (no one seems to know what the proper collective noun is for such a group; I've suggested a "dissertation of scholars."  We'll see if it catches on.) for a conference devoted to Whedon and his works.  While Whedon is often the subject of papers and full panels at popular culture conferences, the Slayage Conference on the Whedonverses is devoted exclusively to him.  Papers are presented that look at his works from a nearly bewildering variety of perspectives - a copy of the program can be found here - and I always leave the conference fired up and brimming over with (hopefully good) ideas for future projects.

In the past, I've tried to recap the conference, which is an exhausting endeavor.  Seriously, this conference is gogogo for three straight days, plus one evening beforehand.  On top of which, we (my husband is also a Whedonian) had travel "adventures" both outbound and returning, so it took longer than usual to get our breath back - plus there was jet lag from journeying from North Carolina to Vancouver and back.  Fortunately, I don't need to feel bad about not recapping the conference presentations, because several others are storming the summarizing ramparts.  Check out the following and I'm sure there are more:

  • Nik at Night is the wonderful blog run by Nikki Stafford of Toronto's ECW Press.  She is in the process of taking her notes and turning them into full-scale write ups for each day that are both informative and chatty.  She also has pictures, which is doubly cool.  And she's the editor for the Wanna Cook? project, so she's triply cool.
  • David Kociemba and Kristen Romanelli maintain the blog for Watcher Junior which is the undergraduate journal for Whedon studies.  They are taking turns posting recaps of the conference - both the blog and the journal itself are well worth reading.
  • The beyond charming witnessaria (go back and watch "Once More with Feeling" to get the name) has also blogged about the conference.  
  • If you want to see the live tweets that came out of the conference, go to your Twitter account and look for #slayage5.  This hashtag is still active, so you'll need to look back a bit.  Multiple folks were tweeting throughout the panels, which was (I think) a first for Slayage.  At one point, the #slayage5 hashtag was trending worldwide!  Academics talk a lot, be that on Twitter or through any other channel!
  • Also, the Slayage journal will have official write ups from three reporters soon.  Those are always solid and complete, so you'll want to check that out.
It's a great time and it's not just for academics, so we'll see you in a Slay-age (three days followed by two years) for the next one!  

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