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The University of Southampton
Winchester School of Art

Staff Seminar Series - Gosia Drewniok Seminar

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

For more information regarding this seminar, please email Dr Victoria Walters at v.m.walters@soton.ac.uk .

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.

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