A Supernatural Politics

Essays on Social Engagement, Fandom and the Series


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About the Book

What makes a horror television drama interesting? Like any other drama, it is often the character development or plot, and this certainly applies to the dramatically-resonant Supernatural and its beloved characters. However, Supernatural has achieved a dedicated fandom and a record-breaking 15-season run by skillfully engaging with the social reality inhabited by the show’s audience. Additionally, the show plays with the fourth wall by having an in-world fandom for the main characters. Supernatural‘s many layers have garnered the attention of academics who analyzed the show’s engagement with diverse topics such as the #MeToo movement, consumerism, and the American Dream. This collection of essays studies the topical issues and politics that added depth and maturity to Supernatural, separated it from X-Files knock-offs, and garnered the show its own cult following.

About the Author(s)

Lisa Macklem has been writing about Supernatural since the first season. Her main research area is in copyright law and its intersection with the entertainment and media industry and how that industry influences access to culture and users’ rights, including fans. She was recently cited in the Canadian government’s review of its Copyright Statute. She lives in London, Ontario, Canada.

Dominick Grace, a professor of English at Brescia University College, has published numerous articles on subjects ranging from medieval and early modern literature to contemporary popular culture. He lives in London, Ontario, Canada.

Bibliographic Details

Edited by Lisa Macklem and Dominick Grace

Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 241
Bibliographic Info: appendices, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2021
pISBN: 978-1-4766-7587-9
eISBN: 978-1-4766-4119-5
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Lisa Macklem and Dominick Grace 1

Part One—Being American
­Post-Crash Politics: Supernatural Masculinities in the ­Mid-West
Leanne McRae 12
“I killed Hitler”: American Exceptionalism and Triumphalism in Supernatural
Cait Coker 28
Dean’s Yellow Fever: Acts of Forgery in Genre
Camille DeBose 41
“You guys getting hungry?” On Leviathans, Consumption and American Politics in Supernatural
Angélica Varandas 52

Part Two—Text and Context
Re-Constructing Monstrosity: Faces of Evil, from Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein to the TV Show Supernatural
Tatiana Prorokova-​Konrad 74
Knowledge Is Power: Information Literacy in Supernatural
Paula S. Kiser 87
“There is no singing in Supernatural!”: Fan/Producer Relationships, Metanarrative and Supernatural’s 200th Episode Special
Keshia Mcclantoc 102

Part Three—The Politics of Fandom
Slash Fiction: Homoerotics and the Metatextual Fangirl
Emily E. Roach 118
Breaking the Fourth Wall: Fandom Representation in Supernatural Canon
Kimberly Lynn Workman 147
Monsters Make Gender Trouble
Megan Genovese 162
“Driver picks the music”: Tracing Supernatural’s Long Road Trip to Discovering Fan Identity
Laurena Aker 180

Coda—Engaging with Engagement: Following a Creator/Creating Followers
Lisa Macklem and Dominick Grace 200
Appendix One: Episodes Cited 213
Appendix Two: Main and Major Characters 219
About the Contributors 227
Index 231