Slayage was first published in January of 2001, having been conceived as David Lavery (1949-2016) and Rhonda V. Wilcox considered over one hundred and forty proposals submitted for possible inclusion in Fighting the Forces: What's at Stake in Buffy the Vampire Slayer (Rowman & Littlefield, 2002). Lavery and Wilcox learned, also, that two other collections of essays on Buffy were in the works. It seemed obvious that there existed a not-soon-to-be-exhausted international critical and scholarly interest in the series. With Whoosh! The Journal of the International Association of Xenoid Studies in mind as a model, Slayage was born.
In 2004 the first Slayage Conference on Buffy the Vampire Slayer was held in Nashville, Tennessee, and was hosted by Middle Tennessee State University. Now known as the Slayage Conference on the Whedonverses, the gathering occurs biennially and has met at Gordon College (2006), Henderson State University (2008), Flagler College (2010), the University of British Columbia (2012), and California State University (2014), Kingston University, UK (2016), and the University of North Alabama (2018). The next conference will be held in the summer of 2021 at Dawson College in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.
In addition to Whedon staples such as Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, Firefly, Serenity, Dollhouse, The Cabin in the Woods, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog, the Avengers films, and the upcoming series The Nevers, Slayage hopes to generate increased discussion around the wider oeuvre of Joss Whedon and those who have collaborated with him. That is, we encourage investigation into the ways the Whedon influence, themes, and aesthetic have formed and informed the TV, film, and pop-cultural landscape. Such topics might include work on current or past projects developed by Whedon collaborators such as Jane Espenson (Husbands), Tim Minear (American Horror Story, Feud), David Greenwalt (Grimm), Marti Noxon (Sharp Objects), and others. These explorations need not in every case be structured upon explicit connections to Whedon; in short, these essays need not be comparisons, though essays drawing such comparisons are of course welcome. Essays arguing for Whedon’s influence on projects such as Supernatural, Veronica Mars, Teen Wolf, and Jessica Jones, to name a few, are also welcome.
A quarterly until 2012, Slayage (ISSN 1546-9212) is now published twice a year—and will continue to be, for as long as interest warrants. The journal is an open-access, blind peer-reviewed, MLA-indexed publication and a member of the Directory of Open Access Journals.