Death in Supernatural

Critical Essays

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About the Book

Over 14 seasons, television’s Supernatural has developed a devoted following of both fans and scholars. The show has addressed big issues, including perhaps the biggest—death.
This collection of new essays examines how death is represented and personified in the series, and how grief is processed in American society. Contributors discuss the show’s explorations of the ultimate mystery, with topics covering American traditions and attitudes, folklore and mythology, resurrection, and grief and grieving.

About the Author(s)

Amanda Taylor is a lecturer at California State University, San Bernardino. Her research interests include zombies, Firefly, Futurama, Keats, science fiction, cultural studies of science, and posthuman theory.
Susan Nylander (as Susan Landers) spent 35 years in broadcast radio as an air talent and music director. She is now a full-time professor of English composition and literature at Barstow Community College in California.

Bibliographic Details

Edited by Amanda Taylor and Susan Nylander
Foreword by Julian Richings; Afterword by Lynn S. Zubernis
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 249
Bibliographic Info: appendices, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2019
pISBN: 978-1-4766-6861-1
eISBN: 978-1-4766-3585-9
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments v
Foreword
Julian Richings (aka Death) 1
“Oh, Hello, Death!” An Introduction (Susan Nylander and Amanda Taylor) 5
American Traditions and Attitudes
Death, American Style: Americana and a Cultural History
of Death (Susan Nylander) 17
Got Salt? Human Remains and Haunting in Supernatural
(Rebecca Stone Gordon) 35
A Familiar Soundscape: Existentialism, Winchester
Exceptionalism and the Evolution of Death in Supernatural
(Sarah Elaine Neill) 51
Folklore and Mythology Blood, Death and “Demonic ­Germ Warfare”: Family and the Legend of Roanoke in Supernatural (Rebecca M. Lush) 70
Wheelin’ and Dealin’: Crossroads Mythology, ­Deal-Making
and Death in Supernatural (Racheal Harris) 87
Resurrection
Death, Resurrection and the Monstrous Evolution of the
Winchesters (Jessica George) 104
“When I come back, I’m gonna be pissed”: Signaling Narrative
and Character Shifts Through Death in Supernatural (Erin M. Giannini) 122
When Women Die “The (Dead) Girl with the Dungeons and Dragons Tattoo”: Supernatural and the Disposable Other (Anastasia Salter) 140
“I prefer ladies with more experience”: Virgins, Whores and ­Post-Feminine Death in Supernatural (Freddie Harris Ramsby) 156
Grief and Grieving
Dean’s Groundhog Day: Negotiating the Inevitability of Death
via Supernatural (Michail-Chrysovalantis Markodimitrakis) 178
“In My Time of Dying”: Lessons on Grief in Supernatural (Amanda Taylor) 193
“That’s It? A Kansas Song?” A Conclusion (?) (Amanda Taylor and Susan Nylander) 213
Afterword (Lynn S. Zubernis) 215
Appendix 1: Cast of Characters 219
Appendix 2: Episode List 222
About the Contributors 237
Index 241