I am teaching a pilot online course for my department this summer. It will be one of the first online-only classes through WGS. I am generally dubious about online-only classes, but I think it will be a good test of my course building and pedagogy. I am teaching WGS 361: Gender and Film and Television, so I will be offering a full version of my Buffy the Vampire Slayer class. It will be four very intense weeks!
WGS 361: Gender and Film and Television
“’Serious Research Mode’: Critical Approaches to Buffy”
July 18-August 12, 2016
WHEN JOSS WHEDON’S Buffy the Vampire Slayer television show 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. As Rhonda V. Wilcox and David Lavery say in their introduction to Fighting the Forces: What’s at Stake in Buffy the Vampire Slayer (2002), “The many meanings of Buffy are reflected in [s]cholars from English, communications, women’s studies, sociology, religion, and other fields…[who] present their different perspectives, sometimes analyzing the series and lines in radically different fashion, from cultural studies to Jungian analysis, from problematizing to praise. [We] have chosen such a various group with a purpose: their multiplicity reflects the polysemic variety of this rich text” (xxvi).
OUR CLASS will take up some of these critical approaches including film and media studies, feminism, queer theory, cultural studies, and fandom studies. In other words, why Buffy and why is Buffy important? Given that Whedon has been praised and criticized for his representations of women and characters of color, this class will explore and analyze the intersections of race, gender, sexuality, and embodiments in selected episodes, scholarship, and fan communities.