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Fighting the Forces : What's at Stake in Buffy the Vampire Slayer - Rhonda V. Wilcox

Fighting the Forces

What's at Stake in Buffy the Vampire Slayer

By: Rhonda V. Wilcox (Editor), David Lavery (Editor)

Hardcover Published: 28th February 2002
ISBN: 9780742516809
Number Of Pages: 320

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For every television series, the original vision grows within a press of forces - both social and artistic expectations, conventions of the business as well as conventions of the art. Bad television - predictable, commercial, exploitative - simply yields to the forces. Good television, like the character of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, fights them. "Fighting the Forces" explores the struggle to create meaning in an impressive example of popular culture, the television series phenomenon "Buffy the Vampire Slayer". In the essays collected here, contributors examine the series using a variety of techniques and viewpoints. They analyze the social and culture issues implicit in the series and place it in its literary context, not only by examining its literary influences (from German liebestod to Huckleberry Finn) but also by exploring the series' purposeful literary allusions. Furthermore, the book explores the extra-textual, such as fan-fiction and online discussion groups. The book is supplemented by an online journal "Slayage", created by the book editors in acknowledgement of the ongoing nature of television art.

Industry Reviews

All 'Buffy' books are not created equal. Anyone interested in delving into the issues raised by the show (including what constitutes feminism, how we can define 'the other,' and whether the world can be reduced with Manichaean simplicity to the battle between good and evil) should invest in Fighting the Forces. * The New York Observer *
In giving 'Buffy the Vampire Slayer' the academic attention it so deserves, Fighting the Forces: What's at Stake in Buffy the Vampire Slayer acknowledges the richness and complexity of the program. Be advised, however, that it is not simply a rah-rah, Buffy is great lovefest. Rather, it is a thought-provoking deconstruction of 'Buffy the Vampire Slayer' as text that is sure to be of interest to both scholars and fans alike. Taken together, the essays in this book provide insight into what is at once a complicated yet underrated program. Like the program itself, Fighting the Forces gives the reader, if you'll pardon my pun, a lot to sink her/his teeth into! -- Sharon R. Mazzarella, Ph.D., Ithaca College, co-editor of Growing Up Girls: Popular Culture and the Construction of Identity
Fighting the Forces is a solid collection and shows how much substance there is to a show that to the casual observer might seem campy and shallow. * Rain Taxi Review Of Books *
A collection of scholarly essays treats the show with the serious attention fans have long known it was worthy of. Although the essays take an academic approach, the arcane jargon is nearly absent, yet each essay offers a serious, entertaining perspective on the social, literary, and artistic aspects of Buffy. * The Austin Chronicle Screens *
Race, gender, religion, history, music, technology: who would've thought you could deliver an entire liberal arts curriculum by talking about nothing but Buffy? Rhonda Wilcox and David Lavery, important voices in contemporary television studies, have gathered a compelling set of essays that make up one of the best books available about a single TV series. The scholarship is sophisticated, but the prose is readable and amusing. The volume avoids both the slobbering panegyrics of fan books and the incomprehensible jargon of so many academic books. Including the introduction and afterword there are 22 chapters: read one a week and it'll last the whole TV season. -- Robert Thompson, Trustee Professor of Media and Popular Culture, director of the Center for the Study of Popular Television, Syracuse University
Fascinating reading which provides a deeper understanding of the richly detailed Buffy the Vampire Slayer. -- Laurie Thayer * Rambles.NET *
The twenty essays collected in Fighting the Forces, and others available on its companion website www.slayage.tv, demonstrate a higher level of critical rigor and quality of writing. * Science Fiction Research Association Review *
Will appeal to the more intellectual of the show's core teenage constituency, helping empower them with respect to the often crypto-vampiric institution of academia. * Science Fiction Studies *
[The book] contains 20 essays organized into three overlapping sections, all of which deal quite seriously and affectionately with aspects of this silly-sounding but quite seriously-written program. * The Whitehorse Star *

Foreword: The Color of the Dark in Buffy the Vampire Slayerp. xi
Acknowledgmentsp. xv
Introductionp. xvii
Forces of Society and Culture: Gender, Generations, Violence, Class, Race, and Religion
"Who Died and Made Her the Boss?" Patterns of Mortality in Buffyp. 3
"My Emotions Give Me Power": The Containment of Girls' Anger in Buffyp. 18
"I'm Buffy, and You're...History": The Postmodern Politics of Buffyp. 35
Surpassing the Love of Vampires; or, Why (and How) a Queer Reading of the Buffy/Willow Relationship Is Deniedp. 45
Choosing Your Own Mother: Mother-Daughter Conflicts in Buffyp. 61
Staking in Tongues: Speech Act as Weapon in Buffyp. 73
Slaying in Black and White: Kendra as Tragic Mulatta in Buffyp. 85
The Undemonization of Supporting Characters in Buffyp. 98
"Sometimes You Need a Story": American Christianity, Vampires, and Buffyp. 108
Darkness Falls on the Endless Summer: Buffy as Gidget for the Fin de Sieclep. 120
Forces of Art and Imagination (Past): Vampires, Magic, and Monsters
Of Creatures and Creators: Buffy Does Frankensteinp. 133
Sex and the Single Vampire: The Evolution of the Vampire Lothario and Its Representation in Buffyp. 143
"Digging the Undead": Death and Desire in Buffyp. 153
Spirit Guides and Shadow Selves: From the Dream Life of Buffy (and Faith)p. 165
Hubble-Bubble, Herbs, and Grimoires: Magic, Manichaeanism, and Witchcraft in Buffyp. 178
Whose Side Are You on, Anyway? Children, Adults, and the Use of Fairy Tales in Buffyp. 195
Forces of Art and Imagination (Present): Fan Relationships, Metaphoric and Real
Crossing the Final Taboo: Family, Sexuality, and Incest in Buffyverse Fan Fictionp. 207
"My Boyfriend's in the Band!" Buffy and the Rhetoric of Musicp. 218
Buffy's Mary Sue Is Jonathan: Buffy Acknowledges the Fansp. 227
www.buffy.com: Cliques, Boundaries, and Hierarchies in an Internet Communityp. 239
Afterword: The Genius of Joss Whedonp. 251
Episode Guide for Seasons 1 to 5p. 257
Bibliographyp. 261
Indexp. 273
About the Contributorsp. 287
Table of Contents provided by Syndetics. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780742516809
ISBN-10: 0742516806
Audience: General
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 320
Published: 28th February 2002
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 24.13 x 16.51  x 2.54
Weight (kg): 0.52