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Reading Joss Whedon
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In an age when geek chic has come to define mainstream pop culture, few writers and producers inspire more admiration and response than Joss Whedon. From Buffy the Vampire Slayer to Much Ado About Nothing, from Dr. Horrible’s Sing–Along Blog to The Avengers, the works of Whedon have been the focus of increasing academic attention. This collection of articles represents some of the best work covering a wide array of topics that clarify Whedon’s importance, including considerations of narrative and visual techniques, myth construction, symbolism, gender, heroism, and the business side of television. The editors argue that Whedon’s work is of both social and aesthetic significance; that he creates “canonical television.” He is a master of his artistic medium and has managed this success on broadcast networks rather than on cable. From the focus on a single episode to the exploration of an entire season, from the discussion of a particular narrative technique to a recounting of the history of Whedon studies, this collection will both entertain and educate those exploring Whedon scholarship for the first time and those planning to teach a course on his works.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
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  1. Title Page, Other Works in the Series, Copyright, Dedication
  2. pp. i-v
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  1. Contents
  2. pp. vii-ix
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  1. Contents by Topic
  2. pp. xi-xiii
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  1. Acknowledgments
  2. p. xv
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  1. Introduction: Much Ado about Whedon
  2. RHONDA V. WILCOX
  3. pp. 1-14
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  1. Part One. Buffy the Vampire Slayer
  2. p. 15
  1. Buffy the Vampire Slayer: An Introduction
  2. RHONDA V. WILCOX
  3. pp. 17-21
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  1. From Beneath You, It Foreshadows: Why Buffy’s First Season Matters
  2. DAVID KOCIEMBA
  3. pp. 22-39
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  1. Hero’s Journey, Heroine’s Return?: Buffy, Eurydice, and the Orpheus Myth
  2. JANET K. HALFYARD
  3. pp. 40-52
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  1. “It’s Like Some Primal, Some Animal Force . . .That Used to Be Us”: Animality, Humanity, and Moral Careers in the Buffyverse
  2. ANANYA MUKHERJEA
  3. pp. 53-69
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  1. “Can I Spend the Night / Alone?”: Segments and Connections in “Conversations with Dead People”
  2. RHONDA V. WILCOX
  3. pp. 70-83
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  1. “Hey, Respect the Narrative Flow Much?”: Problematic Storytelling in Buffy the Vampire Slayer
  2. RICHARD S. ALBRIGHT
  3. pp. 84-98
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  1. All Those Apocalypses: Disaster Studies and Community in Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel
  2. LINDA J. JENCSON
  3. pp. 99-112
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  1. Part Two. Angel
  2. p. 113
  1. Angel: An Introduction
  2. CYNTHEA MASSON
  3. pp. 115-118
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  1. “Enough of the Action, Let’s Get Back to Dancing”: Joss Whedon Directs Angel
  2. STACEY ABBOTT
  3. pp. 119-133
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  1. What the Hell?: Angel’s “The Girl in Question”
  2. CYNTHEA MASSON
  3. pp. 134-146
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  1. Part Three. Firefly and Serenity
  2. p. 147
  1. Firefly and Serenity: An Introduction
  2. TANYA R. COCHRAN
  3. pp. 149-152
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  1. Firefly: Of Formats, Franchises, and Fox
  2. MATTHEW PATEMAN
  3. pp. 153-168
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  1. “Wheel Never Stops Turning”: Space and Time in Firefly and Serenity
  2. ALYSON R. BUCKMAN
  3. pp. 169-184
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  1. Metaphoric Unity and Ending: Sending and Receiving Firefly’s Last “Message”
  2. ELIZABETH L. RAMBO
  3. pp. 185-197
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  1. Part Four. Dollhouse
  2. p. 199
  1. Dollhouse: An Introduction
  2. DAVID LAVERY
  3. pp. 201-204
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  1. Reflections in the Pool: Echo, Narcissus, and the Male Gaze in Dollhouse
  2. K. DALE KOONTZ
  3. pp. 205-220
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  1. “There Is No Me; I’m Just a Container”: Law and the Loss of Personhood in Dollhouse
  2. SHARON SUTHERLAND, SARAH SWAN
  3. pp. 221-233
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  1. Part Five. Beyond the Box
  2. p. 235
  1. Joining the Evil League of Evil: The Rhetoric of Posthuman Negotiation in Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog
  2. VICTORIA WILLIS
  3. pp. 237-249
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  1. Buffy’s Season 8, Image and Text: Superhero Self-Fashioning
  2. MARNI STANLEY
  3. pp. 250-267
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  1. Watchers in the Woods: Meta-Horror, Genre Hybridity, and Reality TV Critique in The Cabin in the Woods
  2. KRISTOPHER KARL WOOFTER
  3. pp. 268-279
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  1. Joss Whedon Throws His Mighty Shield: Marvel’s The Avengers as War Movie
  2. ENSLEY F. GUFFEY
  3. pp. 280-293
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  1. Part Six. Overarching Topics
  2. p. 295
  1. Stuffing a Rabbit in It: Character, Narrative, and Time in the Whedonverses
  2. LORNA JOWETT
  3. pp. 297-311
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  1. Adventures in the Moral Imagination: Memory and Identity in Whedon’s Narrative Ethics
  2. J. DOUGLAS RABB, J. MICHAEL RICHARDSON
  3. pp. 312-324
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  1. Technology and Magic: Joss Whedon’s Explorations of the Mind
  2. JEFFREY BUSSOLINI
  3. pp. 325-340
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  1. From Old Heresies to Future Paradigms: Joss Whedon on Body and Soul
  2. GREGORY ERICKSON
  3. pp. 341-355
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  1. “Hot Chicks with Superpowers”: The Contested Feminism of Joss Whedon
  2. LAUREN SCHULTZ
  3. pp. 356-370
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  1. Whedon Studies: A Living History, 1999–2013
  2. TANYA R. COCHRAN
  3. pp. 371-392
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  1. References
  2. pp. 395-439
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  1. Contributors
  2. pp. 441-446
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  1. Index
  2. pp. 447-461
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  1. Back Cover
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