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Move over Buffy: Twilight Studies at the Southwest/Texas Popular Culture and American Culture Association Conference

February 15, 2010

Just back from the Southwest/Texas Popular Culture and American Culture Association Conference in Albuquerque, New Mexico. While Buffy and the entire Whedon canon still form a huge part of the program (and rightly so!), Twilight analysis carved out a big hunk of the conference proceedings.

There was no celebrity autograph signings, no Twi merchandise, no Volturi Masked Ball, or Twi-music performance (like all the Summit entertainment cons travelling the country). Instead, there were four special panels devoted to Twilight as well as many other Twilight papers scattered throughout the program.

I listened to excellent analysis of the texts, the fandom, and the franchising of Twilight from feminist, cultural studies, religious studies, psychological, sociological, and ethnic studies perspectives. Yes, Bella, there are academics and scholars out there who see there is more to you than your undead Edward loving!

A huge thank you to all those Twi-a-demics at the conference – I enjoyed your papers immensely and I am so looking forward to more scholarly work on Twilight. Pop Culture Conference in St. Louis, here I come!

7 Comments leave one →
  1. Roxie permalink
    February 16, 2010 6:12 am

    OH, I am so jealous! That sounds like so much brain candy!

  2. February 18, 2010 3:29 am

    Not to be picky but when you say “Weldon” do you mean “Whedon”? As in Joss Whedon? Oh dear…my dork is showing…

    Love the “Twi-a-demia”! More, more, more, please!

  3. February 18, 2010 4:54 am

    Wonderful! I wish I lived on the states already so I can attend to this. I might be giving a lecture about it on my own on my country on the national bookfair so some Twi-a-demia for me as well. Hope to make some new twilight academics friends!

  4. natalie wilson permalink*
    February 18, 2010 5:13 am

    Thanks for the comments all! It was indeed great brain candy! And, yes, I did mean Whedon — I didn’t notice the spellcheck had “corrected” that to Weldon. Sorry about that! (I fixed it the post)

    As for more Twi-a-demia, I am hoping for that too – esp in the blogosphere. I am sick of all the celeb picks and film updates. I need some twi-nalysis! If there is anything you want to see (or submit) at the blog, let me know!

    • February 18, 2010 7:08 pm

      I’m still waiting to find someone to edit mine about the greek gods. But I haven’t forgotten.

      I’m reareading the series on english and finding things I haven’t noticed before.

      I have entertaining another theory that Edward is the real leader of the Cullens and that Carlisle is more like the advisor/speak person. That would explain why everyone follows Edward’s orders no matter how idiotic they are (like moving from Forks and then back again on New Moon) or why they are all so willing to protect Bella with their own lives if needed. She was for all intents and purposes the leader’s mate.

      Kind of like on the first book we first though Laurent was the leader of the three nomads but it was really James.

      In line with this the books, could be read as a chessboard/chess game (the Breaking Dawn cover was a hint) Esme and Carlisle are the Rooks, Emmet and Rosalie the Knights, Jasper and Alice the Bishops (of course also Alice and Emmet being the closest to Edward could be the Knights and Jasper and Rosalie the Bishops, but I think the Cullen being all couples its meaningful) and Bella and Edward the King and Queen. The humans would be the pawns of course, the way Bella started.

      • natalie wilson permalink*
        February 22, 2010 12:47 am

        Interesting points about who the real leaders are… I am wondering if this has some sort of Mormon basis to it — I know there was wrangling over who would be the leader after Joseph Smith’s death… Also perhaps could link to Jesus/God – John Granger writes on this arguing Edward as Jesus figure.
        And, as I know NOTHING of chess, I will just take your word for it on those arguments!

  5. February 22, 2010 3:29 am

    I know a bit of chess but I’m not really good at it. I’m still wondering about the knights things given that Bella choosed Rosalie as her knight when she needed help with Reneesme so that would make Emmet and Rosalie the knights, but then Alice and Emmet are Edward’s knights so unless Bella rearranges the pieces once she became the queen that could go either way.

    I didn’t took a lot of the Mormonism philosophy on my observations. It’s been a while since I study that religion to make a lot of connections. Even though I’m sure they are important I don’t feel I have the expertise and people like Mr. Granger are already doing a great job, seeing the series from that POV so I left it like that.

    I took other ideas for example: Rosalie was for all intents and purposes, a princess, and she was engaged to a king (both in name, Rodney King as on power) and Carlisle choose her for Edward, the only other female that was an option for him was Tanya, the leader or queen or the Denali Coven and Edward’s rival was another king or leader (Jacob as Alpha) no to mention that Bella calls herself a princess on the books a couple of times and she was the only daughter of Chief Swan, a leader figure of the town of Forks.

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