A Sense of Community

Essays on the Television Series and Its Fandom

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About the Book

Television’s Community follows the shenanigans of a diverse group of traditional and nontraditional community college students: Jeff Winger, a former lawyer; Britta Perry, a feminist; Abed Nadir, a pop culture enthusiast; Shirley Bennett, a mother; Troy Barnes, a former jock; Annie Edison, a naïve overachiever; and Pierce Hawthorne, an old-fashioned elderly man. There are also Benjamin Chang, the maniacal Spanish teacher, and Craig Pelton, the eccentric dean of Greendale Community College, along with well-known guest stars who play troublemaking students, nutty professors and frightening administrators.
This collection of fresh essays familiarizes readers not only with particular characters and popular episodes, but behind-the-scenes aspects such as screenwriting and production techniques. The essayists explore narrative theme, hyperreality, masculinity, feminism, color blindness, civic discourse, pastiche, intertextuality, media consciousness, how Community is influenced by other shows and films, and how fans have contributed to the show.

About the Author(s)

Ann-Gee Lee is an assistant professor of English at the University of Arkansas-Fort Smith. She teaches first-year writing courses and upper-division rhetoric courses. She lives in Fort Smith.

Bibliographic Details

Edited by Ann-Gee Lee
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 240
Bibliographic Info: notes, bibliographies, index
Copyright Date: 2014
pISBN: 978-0-7864-7590-2
eISBN: 978-1-4766-1571-4
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Table of Contents


Preface 1

Introduction 3

Part I: Taking Things Literarily

Adventures in Time, Space and Community College: Narrative Structure and Thematic Depth (Mina Halling) 7

Modern Heroism (Amanda Riter) 24

Greendale Hyperreality (Nettie Brock) 36

The Greendale Trickster: The Rise and Fall of Ben Chang ­(Ann-­Gee Lee and Noah E. Schmidt) 51

Part II: The Political Playground

Inculcating Victorian Masculinities at “Loser College”: Jeff Winger’s Male Poses (Lindsy Lawrence) 65

Feminist and Postfeminist Discourses: Reading the Britta Problem—(Jessica Ford) 82

Creating a Colorblind Community: Dean Pelton and the Greendale Human Beings (Melissa Vosen Callens) 98

Parody as Civic Discourse in “Basic Lupine Urology”: The Law and Order Episode (Jeremy W. Cook and Robin M. Murphy) 111

Part III: Pop Culture Across the Curriculum

My Dinner with Abed: Postmodernism, Pastiche and Metaxy in “Critical Film Studies” (Elizabeth Fleitz Kuechenmeister) 125

“That’s So Meta!” Allusions for the ­Media-­Literate Audience in Community (and Beyond) (Bridget Julie Hanna) 138

My Dinner with Andre/Our Dinner with Abed: Genre and the Audience (Sallie Maree Pritchard) 152

Advanced Introduction to Liminality: Community on the Fringe (Lisa K. Perdigao) 167

Part IV: Extracurricular Activities

Community’s Communities: Bringing the Fan to the (Study) Table (Joseph S. Walker) 181

“Cool, Cool, Cool”: New Media Rhetorics of Community (G. Bret Bowers) 197

“Six seasons and a movie!” Community, Creative Processes and Being Meta (Laura Tansley) 211

About the Contributors 225

Index 227