Slayage 2010, A Report (Part One)

on June 14, 2010 in Uncategorized

The Fourth Biennial Slayage Conference on the Whedonverses was held June 3rd through 6th at the historic Flagler College campus in St. Augustine, Florida.

Flagler College

The campus itself was originally built as the Hotel Ponce de Leon by Henry Morrison Flagler in 1888. The interior design of this luxury resort is credited to Louis Comfort Tiffany who also contributed stained glass windows and mosaics. The college was founded in 1968 and currently has 2500 students and a staff of 100.

After a travel adventure that began in Seattle with a flight that left at 10:00 pm and arrived in Jacksonville (via Philly) the following morning, I was picked up by a shuttle courtesy of Flagler. Much to my delight, Sara Freeman, who I’ve known only online, was also on the shuttle – – though at this point both of us were too tired to do anything other than hug “Hello” and space out for the hour long ride to St. Augustine.

I decided to splurge on a Bed and Breakfast, and stayed at the super-cute St. Francis Inn. It was quiet, comfortable, and only a short walk from the college.

St. Francis Inn

After a nap and a shower, I met with Sara at registration and we walked to St. George St. — the heart of the little town – – and found a place to sit and have a snack and a chat.

Sara Freeman

The Ink-Stained Amazon

We then walked back to the college for the evening’s reception, which was almost like a family reunion — as it was filled with people who hadn’t seen each other in a SlayAge.* After much drinking (and of shockingly decent conference wine at that!) David Lavery and other conference speakers performed excerpts from interviews collected in Joss Whedon: Conversations, which he co-edited with Cynthia Burkhead.

The next morning I missed Janet Halfyard’s keynote, as I had to prepare for my presentation but Nikki Stafford has a write-up on that.

There were only about 20 people in the audience (probably my smallest ever) as I was up against a panel on Dollhouse. But I was really pleased with my presentation and it got a few laughs – – a few people even approached me after to say they enjoyed it.

I did a book signing after – and no one came! (sad face)

Whedon-Related Books For Sale

But copies of my book sold out before the first day was even over! (happy face)

Later in the day, Sara presented her paper, “His Girl Doomsday: The Professionalism of Lilah Morgan” (and battled the thunderous storm to be heard). This panel, devoted to Angel, also included Natalie Steven’s “Objectification and Power in Season 5 of Angel” and Stacey Abbott’s wonderful “Enough of the Action, Let’s Get Back to Dancing”: Joss Whedon directs Angel” — a presentation on the episode “Waiting in the Wings.”

I also met the fabulous Dale (Koontz) Guffey and Ensley Guffey (oh, you’ll hear much gushing about them!).

More to come in Part Two, but first I really want to thank the following for putting together a fabulous conference:

The Whedon Studies Association
Rhonda Wilcox
David Lavery
Tanya Cochran
Jim Wilson & Tamara Wilson

I’m also grateful to the following for their help with research assistance:
Stephanie Ogle of Cinema Books
Stacey Abbott
Chris Casos of Comics Dungeon

And to my husband, Ryan Wilkerson, who spent 5 days designing my slide deck and making me an awesome video trailer – – we make an incredible team!

*It was determined at the final panel, Buffy Bookers, that a “SlayAge” was 3 days followed by 2 years. An awesome term now in full use and coined by Dale Koontz.

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