Personal profile

Overview

My research intends to make manifest the many medieval facets in contemporary horror by using television series Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1997-2003) as my primary case study. To achieve this, my thesis uses blood as a core concept and lens in reading Buffy as a modern medieval text.

The universe of Buffy the Vampire Slayer exists because of blood – its absence, its presence, its transgression of boundaries, bodies, and dimensions. Close readings of select Buffy episodes alongside medieval medicine, theology, natural philosophy, and hagiography gesture toward the Series' rich medieval inheritance, an inheritance often articulated through the religious and horror cultural lexicon. As a generally established part of the Western cultural vocabulary, the cultural lexicon shows how explicitly religious concepts such as blood (its consumption, its spillng, its preservation); death, resurrection, and redemption; eschatological time and hell dimensions; and the metaphysics of the soul are contingent upon the theological traditions they originate from to possess meaning.

This thesis argues that the shared values, metaphors, and symbols regarding blood in Buffy are reliant upon, and have evolved from, the multivalent medieval theories regarding blood. Reading Buffy medievally not only emphasises the Series’ broad religious overtones, giving them more weighted meaning, but it also highlight’s the tradition of female heroism and warriordom, a central component of Buffy and medieval Christianity. As such, this thesis contributes new material and perspectives to the already vast Buffy academic canon (known as Buffy Studies) by spending time with and extrapolating the Series’ oft-neglected medieval influence by closely reading the heart of the series--blood.

Biography

Born and raised in Pasadena, California, Meaghan has pursued research in numerous fields: Mid 19th-Century Sensational Literature; Polish posters from 1955-1989; Feminist art in 1970s Poland; and now Medieval Hagiography & Contemporary Gothic/Horror. When not researching Meaghan enjoys spending time with friends, spoiling her pet cat Bowie, watching slasher films, being outdoors, spreading her love for actor Nicolas Cage, and co-hosting her pet project Modern Medieval: The Podcast.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 5 - Gender Equality

Education/Academic qualification

Master of Arts, "Letters in the Wind: Language, Poetry and Displacement in Ewa Partumʼs Active Art" [Distinction], University College London (UCL)

20192020

Master of Science, "Warsaw Plakatodrom: The Poster in the Iconosphere of the City 1955-1989" [Distinction], University of Edinburgh

20182019

Bachelor of Arts, "Mysteries of Criticism: Social Criticism in Baron Ludwig von Reizensteinʼs Serial Novel 'The Mysteries of New Orleans' (1854-1855)" [Distinction], University of California, Berkeley

20152017

Areas of expertise

  • PR English literature
  • Hagiography
  • Horror
  • Medieval Studies
  • Medievalism
  • Gothic
  • Ecology
  • BR Christianity
  • Martyrs
  • Blood
  • Virginity
  • Eschatology
  • PN1993 Motion Pictures
  • Horror
  • Slasher
  • Film Theory
  • NX Arts in general
  • Medieval Studies
  • Posters

Keywords

  • Hagiography
  • Medievalism
  • Horror
  • Gothic
  • Gender
  • Violence
  • medieval

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