Sundays in October through November 1st, at 2pm in AUX | Free screenings and lectures
Scroll down for this Sunday’s episode and lecturer info
Buffy the Vampire Slayer (BtVS) was a television series created by Joss Whedon which aired on the WB network and later UPN from 1997-2003. It predominantly starred Sarah Michelle Gellar (Buffy), Anthony Stewart Head (Giles), Alyson Hannigan (Willow), Nicholas Brendan (Xander), Amber Benson (Tara), Kristine Sutherland (Joyce), David Boreanaz (Angel) and James Marsters (Spike). The series is most commonly known as subverting the horror genre as we follow Buffy the Vampire Slayer through battling vampires, demons and several apocalypses.
Please join us for a month long intensive Lecture & Screening series featuring Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Vox Populi member Beth Heinly has invited seven lecturers; Megan Carr, Jon McCabe, Homay King, Ann Cornell, James Myers, Lynn Dorwaldt and Kate Kraczon, each from a varied arena of expertise including academia, art, curation, geekdom, podcasting and writing to guide this very special Buffy ReWatch in a most scholarly fashion.
The Buffyverse, a term coined by the Buffy fandom describing the Buffy universe, is a frequently used springboard topic for discussion among academia from high school to college courses providing many articles, essays, and bibliographies for perusal on whatever sparks the Buffy fan’s curiosity. Watch along and immerse yourself in the world of Buffy Academia led by lectures unique to each season. Following the lecture there will be roundtable discussions that discuss specifications within the screened episodes covering character development, language, pop cultural references and fashion. Each week the series will be recorded for a podcast to air midweek, so if you have to miss a Sunday, tune in! Please check in closer to the premiere on October 4th for more details on our podcast.
This is a free event. We will have snacks à la Buffy and drinks to cure whatever ails you from your Saturday nights “patrolling”. Do be mindful that we highly encourage cosplay for attendees.
Happening every Sunday in October at 2pm with the finale on Sunday November 1st at 2pm. Scroll through our calendar to see what episodes we’ll be featuring, meet your teacher and check out links to suggested reading materials.
Lecturers (in order of appearance): Beth Heinly, Megan Carr, Jon McCabe, Homay King, Ann Cornell, James Myers & Kate Kraczon.
*Important to note that due the nature of this lecture series, there are spoilers. We recommend this event series as a ReWatch. If you would like to join us anyway as your first time watching the show keep in mind of spoilers. Alternatively, you can try to watch 22 episodes of television in one week.
Sunday October 4th 2pm
Buffy ReWatch: Abridged Version, Screening & Lecture Series
Welcome to the Hellmouth (Season 1, Episode 1) w/ Beth Heinly
School Hard (Season 2, Episode 3) w/ Jon McCabe & Megan Carr
Welcome to the Hellmouth (Season 1, Episode 1)
In Welcome to the Hellmouth we are given a charming series of introductions to each character in Buffy the Vampire Slayer with Cordelia getting all the best lines. The overall episodic narrative arc is set with Buffy as the hero amongst a very well written ensemble cast, later described as the Scoobies. Alongside the arc are the rules set in the Buffyverse for the entire series with good vs. evil, vampires filling the role of evil. This landscape is set in motion among firsts as Buffy describes how one becomes a vampire, “To make you a vampire they have to suck your blood and then you have to suck their blood. It’s like a whole big sucking thing. Mostly they’re just gonna kill you.” – to Giles, her Watcher and high school librarian, giving introduction to our heroine Buffy “To each generation a slayer is born. One girl in all the world, a chosen one, one born with the strength and skill to hunt the vampires.” – to the introduction of the first book Giles tries to give Buffy on her first day at school, which is entitled “Vampyre”, linking the Buffyverse to the first story written on the topic of vampirism by John William Polidori in 1819. That date of course is just yesterday to our first big bad of BtVS, The Master, leader to a vampire cult the Order of Aurelius and his left hand minion, Luke, who demurely admits the last time he was bested in a fight was 1843. Leaping from there, we delve further into the landscape describing, Sunnydale, as a small community that just so happens to reside atop a Hellmouth which acts as a mystical convergence of supernatural activity attracting not only vampires, but “zombies, werewolves, incubi, succubi…”. The Master intends to open the portal of the Hellmouth bringing about the first apocalypse in Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Hell on high school, er, earth. Let the fun begin!
So, what’s the sitch? The lecture for Welcome to the Hellmouth will be a Demonology 101 of sorts determining the battle of good vs. evil on Buffy the Vampire Slayer defined via our heroine and her relationships with vampires. We will go over in depth the vampire, the dominant villains in Sunnydale, accompanied with an analysis of Buffy as the Slayer through a comparison via Joseph Campbell’s monomyth and her overall heroine-ness.
(We recommend watching The Harvest in addition to Welcome to the Hellmouth as it is technically a two part series premiere.)
Stacey Abbott, “A Little Less Ritual and a Little More Fun: The Modern Vampire in Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” Slayage: The Online International Journal of Buffy Studies 3 (2001).
Kevin McNeilly, Christina Sylka, and Susan R. Fisher, “Kiss the Librarian, But Close the Hellmouth: ‘It’s Like a Whole Big Sucking Thing’ Slayage: The Online International Journal of Buffy Studies 3 (2001).
Bowman, Laurel. “Buffy the Vampire Slayer: The Greek Hero Revisited.” Home page. 2002. 25 Nov. 2002.
Mara. “The Slayer’s Journey: Buffy as Monomythic Hero,” Match/Cut (April 2008).
Beth Heinly is a performance artist and sometimes curator who draws comics under the pseudonym 3:00. She shows in Philadelphia. A lot.
School Hard (Season 2, Episode 3)
With the realm of Buffy fully established in Season 1, and after Buffy’s brief bout with PTSD in the opening on Season 2, Episode 3 starts a new chapter in the series – a shiny new Big Bad and the revelation of a larger conspiracy amidst Buffy and the gang’s continual struggle to maintain “normal” teen lives on the Hellmouth. School Hard brings Buffy’s many worlds crashing together – Slayer, school, Scooby Gang and family all in a squishy homage to Die Hard set at Parent Teacher Night, with the Bruce Willis role inhabited by our heroine, and oddly enough, her mostly clueless mother.
For Season 2’s Rewatch, we’ll look through a family studies tinged lens at the School Hard’s examination of relations – mother/daughter, sire/sired, principle/mayor – and how these forces affect the Slayer, the one girl in all the world who is supposed to stand alone “against the vampires, the demons, and the forces of darkness.” We’ll examine this Buffy paradox of a “slayer with friends” as the series makes its clear declaration that monsters are what happens when you’re busy making other plans or forgetting to put sugar in the lemonade.
Williams, J.P. “Choosing Your Own Mother: Mother-Daughter Conflict in Buffy.” Fighting the Forces: What’s at Stake in Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Ed. Rhonda Wilcox and David Lavery. New York: Rowman & Littlefield, 2002. 61-72. Print. ISBN 978-0742516809
Jes Battis. “Introduction.“ Blood Relations: Chosen Families in Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Jefferson, North Carolina and London: McFarland & Co., Inc., 2005. 9-23. Print. ISBN 978-0786421725
Megan Carr is an artist, writer, and lover of television past, present, and future. She spends her workdays in the synergizing world of online learning at the University of Pennsylvania, while her evenings usually involve consuming media while folding laundry. Past projects include a weekly film critic gig for Philadelphia suburban newspapers and an irreverent but poorly proofread entertainment blog which boasted tens of loyal readers. Now, I’m just throwing it out there, but Megan should probably put that moldering BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago to work and make more art instead of dedicating the last six years to perfecting her recently award-winning artisanal marmalade, but the heart wants what it wants. Of note, Megan has always been on Team Spike and owns way too many house plants – but she has never communicated with ferns.
Jon McCabe is an associate director of curriculum at the University of Pennsylvania. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Film and Media Arts from Temple University and a Master’s Degree in Liberal Arts from Penn. Jon also teaches creative non-fiction for adult learners, is a frequent writer of short stories that are ‘not quite what we’re looking for,’ and a full time Razorback. When he’s not drinking tea in the woods or watching horror movies with his hubby, you can find him brewing snooty homemade beer in his tiny Chestnut Hill apartment.