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Interview with Jennifer K Stuller
Editor of Fan Phenomena: Buffy the Vampire Slayer

In this interview find out Jennifer K Stuller’s thoughts on her own fandom, fandom studies and what inspired her to write Fan Phenomena: Buffy the Vampire Slayer 

What film, TV or book series are you a fan of? 
Buffy the Vampire Slayer. 
 
What is it about this 'phenomena' that appeals to you?
As a pop culture historian with a focus on the journey of the female hero, Buffy Summers and her friends were a revelation in terms of its representation of heroism. The focus on both personal strength and community - and how that inspires in the real world is what appeals to me most about BtVS's "Fan Phenomena."
 
What do you think makes it so popular and have such a cultural impact? 
Wonderful, unexpected, intelligent, funny, emotionally resonant, and deeply layered storytelling. A new vision of heroism that forever changed how female heroes, and how communities of heroes, are represented in popular culture. 
 
What drew you to fan studies and encouraged you to write a volume of the Fan Phenomena series in particular?
Seeing how transformative fandom can be for individuals and communities. Fandom can inspire creative endeavors, social change, new projects, educational initiatives, and so much more. The themes in Buffy resonate back and forth with fandom, they were, and continue to be, in conversation with fandom.
 
I was encouraged to write a volume of the Fan Phenomena series by a colleague and friend from the Whedon Studies Association. Being deeply involved in Buffy fandom, from co-leading a university course that used the series to explore issues of human nature to planning a party to celebrate Buffy's 30th birthday at a local comic book store with my GeekGirlCon sisters to being a part of Whedonesque Burlesque (and performing as Joyce Summers) to co-producing a book launch party that turned a Seattle bar into "A Night at the Bronze" to being asked to speak about fan activism as a featured speaker at the 6th Biennial Slayage Conference on the Whedonverses (June 14) all of my interaction and participation as a fan of Buffy the Vampire Slayer has enriched me intellectually, spiritually, and emotionally. It's brought me family, self-confidence, community, and so much more. The chance to work with a community of writers and thinkers to delve into the larger impact of this phenomena was a delight and a privilege. 

 

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