I (Rachel) will be delivering a paper on True Blood at the Mid-Atlantic Popular/American Culture Association Annual Conference in Philadelphia this November.
Returning to the Science Fiction and Fantasy track that was my home base at the PCA/ACA conference in San Antonio this past April, I'll be addressing the Season 2 story arc that principally involved the maenad Maryann Forrester & our favorite shifter, Sam Merlotte.
Here's the paper's title: Echoes of Goddess Culture’s Reversal and Subversion in HBO’s True Blood
Here's its 150 word abstract: This visual talk opens a vein on the contemporary human condition by exploring how HBO’s wildly entertaining series True Blood taps into ancient archetypes and mythologies still pulsing in our modern psyches, flowing through―and informing―today’s cultural currents. When viewed through the lens of Goddess scholarship, the maenad Maryann Forrester’s Season 2 characterization and story arc can be seen as contemporizing the primal motifs of the Divine Female and Sacred Bull; the Goddess-Queen and her Year King consort. True Blood’s reversal of these antecedents’ key elements echoes the subversion of Goddess mythology five millennia ago as peaceful, egalitarian society was supplanted by patriarchy. Drawing upon 800,000 years of art and myth and amplifying leading voices in feminist thought, archaeomythology, and women's studies not often heard in mainstream discourse we will trace parallels between True Blood and this buried history and explore the socio-cultural implications of Goddess culture’s decline on our society.
Since Philly is just a hop, skip, and a jump away from my home in NY, I look forward to having a nice little entourage attend the conference - if you live nearby or just feel like visiting the City of Brotherly Love, why don't you stop by the Pierced Pomegranate Tavern when we set up shop there this fall!