Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Fanpires: Audience Consumption of the Modern Vampire

Our fascination with vampires seemed to increase in the late 20th century with popular television series like "Buffy: the Vampire Slayer" and Stephanie Meyer's "Twilight" saga. 

Gareth Schott and Kirstine Moffat edited a new collection of essays in a book titled "Fanpires: Audience Consumption of the Modern Vampire".

Chapter Four in this book was contributed by Anita Sarkeesian, feminist pop media critic and her co-author Jennifer Jenson. Their chapter, "Buffy vs. Bella: The Re-Emergence of the Archetypal Feminine in Vampire Stories" "...explores the differences between Buffy Summers...and Bella Swan from the Twilight saga. This chapter further explores how the narratives of each fictional universe can limit or expand the way fans interact with each character." Anita Sarkeesian has generously offered a free download by visiting her website, Feminist Frequency. 

Click here to retrieve Chapter Four pdf document: Buffy vs. Bella: The Re-Emergence of the Archetypal Feminine in Vampire Stories (scroll to the bottom of her article for a free 19-page download)

Photo courtesy of Barbaric Poetries
About the Book
From  "This collection of essays addresses the renewed interest in the cultural resurgence of the vampire, evident across a broad range of literature, film, television, graphic novels, and games. The appeal of vampire mythology and its associated folklore for modern audiences is examined in an age characterized by the transformative possibilities of the internet with both its low barriers to artistic expression and the erosion of the boundaries between author and audience in terms of the construction of narrative, character and fictional universes. This collection examines how audiences respond to and "use" the vampire in their own practices.

"From evil villains to tragic heroes, modern appropriations of the vampire, evident in popular manifestations such as the Twilight saga and the televisual adaptation of The Southern Vampire Mysteries (True Blood) are noted for their focus on the everyday. These vampires are found nested within communities, seeking to temper their urges and coexist with humans. "Drifting silently into harbour, the vampires arrived in Western Europe scarcely two centuries ago. Since then, they have become a new folklore. The rich fan cultures addressed by vibrant emerging scholars from around the English-speaking world gathered in Schott and Moffatt's collection are the true heirs of this uncanny invasion. The mix of glamour and disgust, aestheticism and dread vampires evoke offers metaphors for every form of anxiety and unholy yearning: a bloodstained laboratory for social experiment.

"This collection opens new corridors into the chambers of the undead, and casts an eerie light on the subterranean worlds of fans and vampires alike." -Sean Cubitt, Professor of Global Media and Communication, Winchester School of Art, UK. "Fanpires offers the preeminent collection of scholarly approaches to this immortal shape shifter. This compilation of insightful essays not only reflects the omnipresence of the vampire in popular culture, but it identifies the pivotal role of fans in revitalizing the life of the vampire." -Wendy Haslem, Professor of Screen Studies & Cultural Management, The University of Melbourne.

To retrieve Chapter Four pdf document, scroll to the bottom of Anita's blog article to this lin: "Buffy vs. Bella: The Re-Emergence of the Archetypal Feminine in Vampire Stories"

Buffy and Bella Photo: Barbaric Poetries

No comments: