Photos from our panel, Philosophy and Religion in the Whedonverse, at this year's SWTX PCA/ACA Conference in Albuquerque.
Prior to the event, Kj and I were mildly concerned that technology would somehow deny us the ability to show our audio/visual presentation, which we put many hours into, but the A/V set-up went smoothly and people really enjoyed those elements.
From left to right, Alyson Buckman, Panel Chair from California State University, Mike Richardson, author of The Existential Joss Whedon: Evil and Human Freedom in Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, Firefly and Serenity, Katie Kohn from The European Graduate School, Kj Swanson, my friend and co-author, and myself.
Another shot of our panel. Upon entering a panel, either as a presenter or audience member, you never how well the respective papers will jive on an ideological level. Thankfully our papers worked so well together with many ideas in direct conversation with each other.
We had a really great turnout for our panel and our audience had lots of intriguing things to say. We were quite pleased with how the Q&A went at the end.
In fact, the chair of the religion section of the conference, Dr. Wes Bergen, invited us out to dinner after the following panel he was overseeing. That panel was one of the highlights of the conference placing us square at the intersection of popular/postmodern culture and theology. In addition to a Catholic perspective on Monty Python's Life of Brian, one of the presentations was on the origin narrative of religions as seen through Science-Fiction literature. Dr. Davis, who gave that talk is actually working on representations of Christianity in Sci-Fi, so later at dinner with the religion panelists, Kj asked her if she'd be willing to read our paper since it deals with that subject precisely. We sent her a copy and I'm glad to say Dr. Davis is excited about the dialogue. I look forward to hearing more of her reactions and ideas that sprung from reading our work.
Kj and I hope to continue the conversation and if you'd like to read the full, 35-page paper, let us know and we'll send you a copy. After seven months of writing and research and the conference, we're excited to expand the dialogue surrounding our work beyond that short but significant post-panel discussion. We'd also love to receive feedback as we look forward to preparing our paper for journal-submission in the coming months.