Upcoming Course: CHID 496 G: “‘Serious Research Mode:’ Critical Approaches to Buffy (and Stuff)” (Winter 2011)

Here’s the description for the 2-credit (CR/NC) focus group that Jane Lee and I are teaching next quarter on Buffy the Vampire Slayer (and other Whedon things):

CHID 496 G: “Serious Research Mode”: Critical Approaches to Buffy (and Stuff)
Jane Lee and Ed Chang
Wednesdays 12:30-2:30 PM
Winter 2011

When Joss Whedon’s Buffy the Vampire Slayer television debuted in 1997, no one could have foreseen the cult following, the spinoffs, the cultural phenomenon, and the critical and scholarly interest it would inspire.  Now, over a decade later, “Buffy Studies” is an established field that draws on a range of disciplines and perspectives.  Our focus group will take up some of these critical approaches including film and genre studies, Victorian studies, feminism, psychoanalysis, cultural studies, and queer theory.  Our goal is to address the critical question “Why Buffy?” and how might Buffy help us think about the recent resurgence of vampire culture, about the role of monsters, and about cultural anxieties over the body, the self, and the Other.  Overall, we hope to explore in general the value of examining pop culture.

THE COURSE will meet once a week for 2 hours to engage in reading, guided discussion, and some reflective writing.  Our focus group will screen select Buffy episodes (and perhaps other things from the Whedon universe) as the focus of discussion.  Students will be asked to participate in discussions both in class and online including brief weekly responses and an in-class presentation.

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