Buffy, Dark Romance and female horror fans

Lorna Jowett, Jennifer K Stuller (Editor)

    Research output: Contribution to Book/Report typesChapterResearch

    Abstract

    While Buffy the Vampire Slayer displays many genre influences, given creator Joss Whedon’s insistence that its premise was an exercise in gender role reversal, it is now easy to see Buffy as a key influence on the contemporary Dark Romance publishing and media boom. Just as Buffy itself draws on previous female action heroes from comic books, movies, fiction, and TV, Dark Romances from Twilight to True Blood offer variations on Buffy’s complex representation of romance, sexuality and gender. Now that VILF (Vampire I’d Like to Fuck) has entered the lexicon we can say that the Dark Romance (in which a female protagonist falls in love with a dark hero, usually a vampire or werewolf) has truly arrived. The popularity of the Twilight books and films, as well as the appearance of vampire and werewolf romance in a wide range of diverse popular fictions proves its success with audiences. This paper briefly examines how subsequent Dark Romances pick up, adapt and develop the ways forerunners like Buffy or the Anita Blake: Vampire Hunter novels negotiate conventions of gender and romance for the twenty-first century. While Buffy may have surprised in its ability to attract a wider audience than the usual network TV target for an action/ horror/ fantasy show (teenage boys), much Dark Romance is specifically aimed at a female audience, and thus its representation of femininity, masculinity, and sexuality is carefully constructed to appeal to women. Therefore this chapter also explores how Buffy and its legacy of Dark Romance offers serialised stories that are consistently “about how hard it is to be a woman” for a largely female audience
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationFan Phenomena: Buffy the Vampire Slayer
    Place of PublicationBristol
    PublisherIntellect
    Pages91-100
    Number of pages164
    ISBN (Print)9781783200191
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2013

    Publication series

    NameFan Phenomena

    Fingerprint

    Romance
    Vampires
    Hero
    Werewolf
    Sexuality
    Hunters
    Boom
    Boys
    Femininity
    Exercise
    Creator
    Fantasy
    Fiction
    Forerunner
    Protagonist
    Gender Roles
    Lexicon
    Popular Fiction
    Comic Books
    Masculinity

    Keywords

    • Fans
    • television
    • popular culture
    • vampires
    • dark romance
    • gender
    • Joss Whedon
    • Buffy the Vampire Slayer
    • True Blood
    • Sookie Stackhouse
    • Anita Blake: Vampire Hunter
    • Twilight
    • The Vampire Diaries

    Cite this

    Jowett, L., & Stuller, J. K. (Ed.) (2013). Buffy, Dark Romance and female horror fans. In Fan Phenomena: Buffy the Vampire Slayer (pp. 91-100). (Fan Phenomena). Bristol: Intellect.
    Jowett, Lorna ; Stuller, Jennifer K (Editor). / Buffy, Dark Romance and female horror fans. Fan Phenomena: Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Bristol : Intellect, 2013. pp. 91-100 (Fan Phenomena).
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    Jowett, L & Stuller, JK (ed.) 2013, Buffy, Dark Romance and female horror fans. in Fan Phenomena: Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Fan Phenomena, Intellect, Bristol, pp. 91-100.

    Buffy, Dark Romance and female horror fans. / Jowett, Lorna; Stuller, Jennifer K (Editor).

    Fan Phenomena: Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Bristol : Intellect, 2013. p. 91-100 (Fan Phenomena).

    Research output: Contribution to Book/Report typesChapterResearch

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    Jowett L, Stuller JK, (ed.). Buffy, Dark Romance and female horror fans. In Fan Phenomena: Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Bristol: Intellect. 2013. p. 91-100. (Fan Phenomena).