Buffyology Lessons in the Academy: Buffy V Shakespeare?

Given we had some papers on Buffy at the original Open Graves, Open Minds conference in 2010 and that she made an appearance in both the OGOM book and the special issue of Gothic Studies on vampires (and that we have just had a session on her and Twilight in the ‘Reading the Vampire’ MA module)  I thought this article was worth linking to.

I am all for Buffyology in the academy but the MA students are well versed in Shakespeare too having completed undergraduate degrees in literature and that is precisely the point, having engaged with the canon it can successfully be broadened and developed and Buffy can be invited in (hooray).

Is Studying Buffy more important than studying Shakespeare ?

Has Buffy slayed the bard? Have you studied Buffy? Let me know….

About Lucy Northenra

Senior Lecturer in Literature, University of Hertfordshire

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0 Responses to Buffyology Lessons in the Academy: Buffy V Shakespeare?

  1. There are some very interesting, and tricky, questions around this issue. We addressed this to some extent in the intro to the OGOM book, but I do think a lot more can be said on the subject.

    Unlike some in the field, I don’t agree that literary value is relative, but I do think popular culture can reach standards that are at least as high as the minor classics of the canon (and Buffy is certainly one example of this). I think there’s a thin line to negotiate between cultural studies and ideology critique (where you examine pop culture to gain insights into society but where value is mostly irrelevant) and literary studies (which I would argue is intrinsically concerned with value).

  2. firekrank says:

    I don’t think I have quite the turn of phrase as Bill but what annoys me is the suggestion that it MUST be Shakespeare vs. Buffy when it comes to the syllabus. It’s incredibly reductive. Arguably there could be space for both – certainly when it comes to university courses as there is more space for diversity and student choice.

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