Buffy Scholar/Critic

Michael Adams was born in Sheboygan, Wisconsin, on 20 December 1961.  He grew up in Paw Paw, Michigan, and Portage, Michigan (a suburb of Kalamazoo), where he attended Portage Central High School.  He played saxophone in the band and was on the debate team.  He took his undergraduate degree in Philosophy at The University of Michigan (1983) and then his M.A. (1985) and Ph.D. (1988) in English Language and Literature at the same university.  While at Michigan, he was an assistant on the Middle English Dictionary (1985-1988).

Since 1989, he has taught at Albright College in Reading, Pennsylvania, responsible for a wide array of courses, including Chaucer, Shakespeare, Tudor and Stuart Literature, Milton, and the History of the English Language, as well as Maledicta:  Profanity, Underworld Slang, and Other Bad Words, and Language Variation in the United States.  At Albright College, he has served as Associate Dean for Academic Affairs (1988-2002) and Chair of the English Department (2000-  ).  He has also taught at The University of Michigan, the University of Iceland, and Duke University.

Besides Slayer Slang:  A Buffy the Vampire Slayer Lexicon (Oxford University Press, 2003; paperback edition 2004), he has published many articles about the history of English, slang and jargon, and the practice, theory, and history of lexicography, as well as several articles on Early Modern English literature.  He was Consulting Editor to The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition (Houghton Mifflin, 2000) and Contributing Editor to The Barnhart Dictionary Companion:  A Quarterly of New Words (1999-2000).  He was Editor of Dictionaries:  Journal of the Dictionary Society of North America (2000-2005) and Editor of American Speech (from 2005).  He serves on the editorial boards of the Journal of English Linguistics and Verbatim:  The Language Quarterly.  He is co-author (with Anne Curzan) of How English Works (Longman, 2005), a textbook of English linguistics.

Adams, Michael. “Don’t Give Me Songs / Give Me Something to Sing About”: Buffy the Vampire Slayer and the Death of Style (paper presented at the Slayage Conference on Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Nashville, TN, May 2004).

___. Slayer Slang: A Buffy the Vampire Slayer Lexicon. New York: Oxford U P, 2003.