So, another abstract I wrote has been accepted for a conference! In November (two-ish weeks after coming back from New York) I’ll be at De Montfort in Leciester talking about gender in the Vampire Slayer and the Twilight series in front of a load of academics at the Vampires, VILFs and Fangbangers conference! This is the absstract I sent in:
Buffy vs. Bella: Gender, Relationships and the Modern Vampire
No one familiar with Bram Stoker’s Dracula could fail to recognise the scantily-clad female on the balcony, luring the vampire with her pale bosom and heaving chest. Stoker’s Dracula, like many other vampire texts, painted women in very traditional, if opposing, lights: Lucy Westenra, empty-headed and flirtatious, dependent on men for both approval and support; and Mina Harker, embodying purity, innocence, and Christian faith – virtues she retained despite being bitten by the Count.
Modern vampire stories, however, have moved on from these traditional depictions of gender. Today’s women wear jeans and high heels, carry stakes in their purses and like their men (vampires) to be in touch with their feminine side. Or do they? This paper examines the portrayal of women in modern vampire stories in terms of gender and relationships. I will be comparing Buffy the Vampire Slayer with Bella of the Twilight series, assessing their roles as ‘strong’ women and examining the ways in which the characters interact with the men in their lives (Angel and Edward respectively) to determine whether vampires, modern men and feminism really can go hand in hand.
And here’s the one I sent in for the erotic adaptations conference:
Slow Evolution: ‘First Time Fics’ and The X-Files Porn Parody
Chris Carter once said that he “didn’t want [The X-Files] to be another Moonlighting. [He] didn’t want the relationship to come before the cases” ruling out the possibility of a relationship between the two main characters. While this did change by the end of the show, the unresolved sexual tension that existed through the course of the series, particularly in seasons one to seven, gave fanfiction writers reason to create their own erotic adaptations.
For a fandom that coined the term ‘shipper’, it is not surprising that a large number of stories concerning Mulder and Scully’s relationship have been written. It is perhaps less surprising that a high percentage of these are ‘first time fics’, dealing with the agents’ first sexual encounter. But this is also a subject that the 2009 porn parody (The Sex Files: A Dark XX Parody) chose to deal with. In this paper I wish to explore the interaction between the canon text, the fan fiction texts which have arisen from it, and The Sex Files: A Dark XX Parody, to examine the appeal of ‘first time fics’ and the ways in which prior readings of the text(s) led to the development of the porn parody.
I’ve got one more abstract submitted, which has a deadline of October 1st, so we’ll see then if I’ll be presenting another paper (on science v magic in The X Files). Got my work cut out for me the next few months!