Friday was an exciting day! I attended panels from 8 a.m. – 8 p.m. (and therefore will be splitting this day into three different blog posts).
I started the morning off with another Supernatural panel.
First, Meredith Ayers presented “Myth & Folklore vs. Hollywood in the Supernatural TV Series.” She compared the lore of various creatures/demons to the way they’ve been presented on the series. She concluded that the series often dramatizes the method of destruction required (who wants to watch a show where a demon can be killed by having someone turn his body south when he’s sleeping?).
Then, Cory Barker entertained us with his animated presentation of “Sam Girls and Dean Girls : The Anti-Fan Fans in Supernatural.” You can view his entire piece here on TV surveillance. We’re all familiar with the anti-fan as someone who is against a particular franchise. Here, Cory proposes the “anti-fan fan” as someone who is a fan of the series, but is “against” a certain character. For instance, a Dean fan may be an anti-fan fan of Sam. This whole world is new to me. As I mentioned in a previous post, while I’ve been watching Supernatural since its inception, I haven’t been very involved in the fandom. I love Sam and Dean. But, apparently, there’s quite an active argument over who the better character is. I encourage you to read Cory’s piece to hear more.
The panel was completed with a piece from Sara Magee and Kelley Crowley: “It was Almost Like a Song : The Classic Rock Rhetoric of Supernatural.” They played a beautiful montage of the series including some of the key songs. It nearly gave me goosebumps and made me want to rush home to rewatch the series!! Sara & Kelley, admittedly “Dean girls,” argued that the music itself proves that Supernatural is Dean’s story. Beyond that, they discussed the traditionally rebellious nature of rock and roll and why that suits the series so well.
In the next panel, Mythology in Contemporary Culture: Contemporary Feminine Archetypes, I had the pleasure of seeing my colleague Cary Gardell present “Coraline and the Cave.” She discussed Coraline’s descent as an otherworld/underworld journey. She discussed the safety that existed as Coraline originally traveled between the realms, then comparing the other world here to Plato’s cave. She pointed out that, typical to female descents, Coraline is the only one to have any memory of her journey. On a personal note, I would like to simply add that “other mother” is downright creepy!!
I then found myself in the right room but the wrong building for the panel Visions of Heroism. Unfortunately, this lead to me catching only the tale end of the paper I was interested in: BJ Keaton‘s ” ‘All the Best Cowboys’ : Genre and the Campbellian Hero is Lost Season 1.” A couple key points I caught included that Jack must accept that the end does not justify the means, and that his sensitivity makes him a unique hero. BJ also argued that while Jack met the image of the Western genre hero in season one, he ultimately evolves beyond the duality of his original cowboy/doctor role.
Around noon, I took the opportunity to get some fresh (erm, humid) air and went for a beautiful boat tour along the San Antonio River Walk. The most fascinating site: The Nix Professional Building (Texas’ oldest hospital) appears to be completely flat from one position on the river. I didn’t believe the tour guide when he said we were about to see the greatest optical illusion!