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Fighting the Forces


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Table of Contents

Part 1 Foreword: The Color of the Dark in Buffy the Vampire Slayer Part 2 Introduction Part 3 Forces of Society and Culture: Gender, Generations, Violence, Class, Race, and Religion Chapter 4 "Who Died and Made Her the Boss?" Patterns of Mortality in Buffy the Vampire Slayer Chapter 5 "My Emotions Give Me Power": The Containment of Girl's Anger in Buffy Chapter 6 "I'm Buffy and You're . . . History": The Postmodern Politics of Buffy the Vampire Slayer Chapter 7 Surpassing the Love of Vampires; or Why (and How) a Queer Reading of Buffy/Willow is Denied Chapter 8 Choosing Your Own Mother: Mother-Daughter Conflicts in Buffy Chapter 9 Staking in Tongues: Speech Act as Weapon in Buffy Chapter 10 Slaying in Black and White: Kendra as Tragic Mulatto in Buffy the Vampire Slayer Chapter 11 The Undemonization of Supporting Characters in Buffy Chapter 12 "Sometimes You Need a Story": American Christianity, Vampires, and Buffy Chapter 13 Darkness Falls on the Endless Summer: Buffy as Gidget for the Fin de Siecle Part 14 Forces of Art and Imagination (Past): Vampires, Magic, and Monsters Chapter 15 Of Creatures and Creators: Buffy Does Frankenstein Chapter 16 Sex and the Single Vampire: The Evolution of the Vampire Lothario and Its Representation in Buffy Chapter 17 "Digging the Undead": Death and Desire in Buffy Chapter 18 Spirit Guides and Shadow Selves: From the Dream Life of Buffy (and Faith) Chapter 19 Hubble-Bubble, Herbs and Grimoires: Magic, Manichaeanism, and Witchcraft in Buffy Chapter 20 Whose Side Are You On, Anyway? Children, Adults, and the Use of Fairy Tales in Buffy Part 21 Part III. Forces of Art and Imagination (Present): Fan Relationships, Metaphoric and Real Chapter 22 Crossing the Final Taboo: Family, Sexuality, and Incest in Buffyverse Fan Fiction Chapter 23 "My Boyfriend's in the Band": Buffy and the Rhetoric of Music Chapter 24 Buffy's Mary Sue is Jonathan: Buffy the Vampire Slayer Acknowledges the Fans 25 Cliques, Boundaries, and Hierarchies in an Internet Community Part 26 Afterword: The Genius of Joss Whedon Part 27 Episode Guide for Seasons 1 to 5 Part 28 Bibliography Part 29 Index

About the Author

Rhonda V. Wilcox is professor of English at Gordon College. David Lavery is professor of English at Middle Tennessee State University.


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, 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 *

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