Skip to main navigationSkip to main content
The University of Southampton
Winchester School of Art

Staff Seminar Series - Gosia Drewniok Seminar

16:00 - 18:00
14 May 2014
MA Common Room, Room Number 3023, Level 3, Eastside Building, WSA

For more information regarding this seminar, please email Dr Victoria Walters at .

Event details

Changing identity on the small screen: transformations, vampires and language in Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Language is one of the most distinctive features of Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1997-2003). It has been extensively explored by scholars from many disciplines, including Karen Eileen Overbey and Lahney Preston-Matto (2002), Michael Adams (2003), Jesse Saba Kirchner (2006) and others in the whole special issue of Slayage: The Journal of the Whedon Studies Association devoted to Buffy language (Slayage 20), as well as Susan Mandala (2007). To date, however, no-one has explored how vampires in BtVS are linguistically constructed.

Transformations are a significant part of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. They include: being revived from the dead, being turned into a vampire and having one’s soul restored as a vampire. In my research I’m interested in vampire transformations and in how the language of the series is manipulated to show them. In this paper I will present my findings and speculate about possible reasons for those linguistic choices. I will focus on four vampires in the series and discuss how their transformation is expressed in the way they speak. I have analysed the scenes they appear in from four different angles: lexis, grammar, conversation analysis and (im)politeness strategies. This close examination shows differences in their linguistic choices marking their change of identity.

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we will assume that you are happy to receive cookies on the University of Southampton website.