Fanpires: Audience Consumption of the Modern Vampire

February 28, 2012

I contributed a chapter to the anthology FANPIRES: Audience Consumption of the Modern Vampire edited by Gareth Schott and Kirstine Moffat. The chapter that I co-wrote with Jennifer Jenson entitled “Buffy vs. Bella: The Re-Emergence of the Archetypal Feminine in Vampire Stories” explores the differences between Buffy Summers from the popular TV series Buffy the Vampire Slayer 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.

 

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.

The book can be purchased on Amazon.com, Powell’s Books, or Barnes and Noble.

You can download “Buffy vs. Bella: The Re-Emergence of the Archetypal Feminine in Vampire Stories” [PDF]

 

2 Responses to “Fanpires: Audience Consumption of the Modern Vampire”

  1. As a pretty big Buffy fan, I enjoyed reading the article. I’ve never watched or read any Twilight, however, and this article certainly doesn’t make me feel like doing so.
    I think that the Buffy franchise has really interesting characters in general, not just Buffy. Well, at least after the first season.

    P.S. Loved the “stake” pun!

  2. Thank you for co-writing this chapter. As a therapist and school counselor, I try to keep up with what’s popular (video games, books, movies, music, etc.) and form an opinion about its influence on the younger generations.

    Bella definitely provides a false role model for girls to believe that their only purpose is to be the object of desire. I find that many Twilight fans aspire to this and do not establish any sense of personal character or depth. Just recently it was revealed that Kristen Stewart herself was torn between the love of two men just like her character.

    It saddens me that some women think that by simply being a woman allows them to label themselves as feminists even when they are furthering the oppression of their own gender.

    I could go on for days about this but I’ll simply say: Keep doing what you’re doing, I’ll be keeping watch and eager to read the new material and watch as Tropes Vs Women develops.