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Changing identity on the small screen: transformations, vampires and language in Buffy the Vampire S

This talk explores the construction of vampire identity in BtVS with regard to lexis, grammar, conversation analysis and (im)politeness strategies

Talk About Language is a series of research presentations, informal discussions, screenings and other events organised by staff and students in English Language and Media, in partnership with the Language

Our next session takes place next Tuesday, 18th November, at 1.30-3pm in room V103, Vine Building.


Malgorzata Drewniok (University of Southampton)


Changing identity on the small screen: transformations, vampires and language in Buffy the Vampire Slayer


Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1997-2003), created by Joss Whedon, has been a highly popular TV series. The use of language is one of the series’ most distinctive features. It has been extensively explored by scholars from many disciplines. However, no-one has explored how vampires in BtVS are linguistically constructed. Transformations are a significant part of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. They include: being revived from the dead, being turned into a vampire, and having one’s soul restored as a vampire. In my research, I have been interested in vampire transformations and in how the language of the series is manipulated to show them. In this talk I will briefly present my findings and speculate about possible reasons for those linguistic choices. I will focus on two main vampires of the series, Angel and Spike, and discuss pivotal scenes for their transformations. I have analysed these scenes from four different angles: lexis, grammar, conversation analysis and (im)politeness strategies. Close examination of each of these aspects of the language used by the characters in question shows differences in their linguistic choices marking their change of identity.

For queries and further information, please contact: Billy Clark b.clark@mdx.ac.uk

All Welcome

Directions and campus map available here: http://www.mdx.ac.uk/get-in-touch/directions-london


Dr Malgorzata Drewniok | talks | www


Date and Time:

18 November 2014 at 1:30 pm


1 hour 30 minutes



English, Middlesex University
The Burroughs
+44 20 84 11 65 55

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All welcome. This talk takes place in Room V103, Vine Building, Directions to campus here:


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