UNA Students and Faculty Present Research On Joss Whedon At International Conference

Jul. 18, 2012


FLORENCE, Ala. – Two University of North Alabama students and an English professor last week were part of a panel of presenters at the fifth biennial Slayage Conference in Vancouver, B.C. Seniors Jared McCoy and Rachel Mellen and their professor, Dr. Cynthia Burkhead, presented research on screenwriter, producer and director Joss Whedon.

Their presentation, “The Grotesque in Joss Whedon’s Major Television Programs,” was the result of papers McCoy and Mellen had written for an honors literature course instructed by Burkhead last fall. Upon Burkhead’s encouragement, they submitted the papers to the Slayage jury for approval.

The Slayage Conference is made possible by the Whedon Studies Association. Acadmics, scholars and Joss Whedon fans from around the world convene at the conference to present scholarship on a variety of aspects of Whedon’s work. Whedon is best known as creator of the television series “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” and the 2008 short film “Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog,” and writer and director of Marvel’s 2012 movie “The Avengers.”

Few undergraduates have been given the opportunity to present at the Slayage Conference, according to Burkhead, making McCoy’s and Mellen’s acceptance as speakers an extraordinary honor.