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From Tennessean.com

Buffy The Vampire Slayer

Buffy Conference set for 2004

By Michael Cass

Friday 10 January 2003, by Webmaster

A conference on the TV show Buffy the Vampire Slayer is coming to Middle Tennessee in 2004.

Nashville attracts all kinds of conventions and conferences. But who would have guessed that students of fictional vampire slaying would come to town?

That’s right: Professors who study Buffy the Vampire Slayer will gather here next year to talk about all things Buffy, said David Lavery, an English professor at Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro and co-editor of Slayage: The Online International Journal of Buffy Studies.

A TV show might seem an odd or even absurd topic for an academic conference. But Lavery, who has written about The Sopranos, The X- Files and other programs, said Buffy - in its second season on UPN after five on the WB, with Sarah Michelle Gellar in the title role - has proved to be fertile ground for ecologists, classicists, literary critics and scholars.

’’Nothing is going to attract our attention unless it challenges us,’’ said Lavery, who is co-editor of Fighting the Forces: What’s at Stake in Buffy the Vampire Slayer?, a collection of essays. ’’The fact that it lends itself to these kinds of interpretations shows that it’s incredibly rich.’’

MTSU and Watkins College of Art & Design will co-host the conference May 28-30, 2004. Lavery said a similar meeting drew 200 people to England last October.

Lavery, who also has co-edited a book that parodies scholarly writing about TV programs, said Nashville’s international reputation should help the conference pull in Buffy-philes from far and wide. Updates on the event will be at www.slayage.tv/conference.

’’Vampire slaying and country music,’’ Lavery joked. ’’It’s just a natural combination, you know?’’