Jason Winslade

Jason Winslade, PhD, is a scholar, a writer, and a performer. His degree is in Performance Studies, an interdisciplinary field combining the methods of anthropology, theatre, speech, rhetoric and critical theory. He has applied his education to the study of occulture, the commingling of occultism and popular culture, having researched and published on topics ranging from occult initiation, mysticism and religious ritual, Pagan and counterculture festivals, comic books, cult television, media, and theatre. At DePaul University, he teaches courses on composition and rhetoric, media studies, visual culture, gender and television, myth and religion, and performance of literature. He also is on the faculty of Cherry Hill Seminary, a master's program for Pagan clergy, and Phoenix Rising Academy, an online school dedicated to teaching Western esotericism. His publications have appeared in The Drama Review, Journal of Religion and Theatre, Slayage: The International Journal of Buffy Studies, Audience Participation: Essays o n Inclusion in Theatre, Performance and Spirituality, The Handbook of Contemporary Paganism, Graven Images: Religion in Comic Books and Graphic Novels, Buffy in the Classroom: Essays on Teaching the Vampire Slayer, and most recently, Supernatural Youth: The Rise of the Teen Hero in Literature and Popular Culture. Jason has also written and performed original works at local and international arts festivals, and is an active musician, currently playing with the bands Faebotica and Mayan Ruins.

Performing Gender in Festival Culture

In our eclectic festival world, which embraces the tenets of Paganism, eastern religions, Native American traditions, and American counterculture, among other belief systems, we often celebrate our progressive attitudes about gender, relationships, and sex. But is polyamory or men wearing skirts enough? In this workshop, we will question assumptions we have about gender roles and sexual identity, and investigate the way we "perform" the roles we construct in relationships, communities, rituals, and festival display. This will be an open discussion - all orientations and identities welcome.

Supergods and Slayers

What do we learn from our modern day mythologies? What do our popular icons tell us about what it means to be human, to be adults, men, women, parents, lovers, warriors, magicians? By studying the stories and figures of popular culture, particularly superheroes and characters of fantasy and science fiction, we can identify the ideas and philosophies that can, consciously or unconsciously, influence our lives and determine our actions and values. In this workshop we will discuss the impact of these notions on ourselves, our communities, our nation, and our culture.

















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