Power and Control in the Television Worlds of Joss Whedon

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About the Book

Ever since the premiere of the small-screen incarnation of Buffy the Vampire Slayer in 1997, the television worlds of Joss Whedon—which have grown to include Angel, Firefly, and Dollhouse—have acquired a cult following of dedicated fans and inspired curious scholars. The quest for power and control over humans and other animals is a constant theme running throughout all four series. This study explores the myriad natural and supernatural methods Whedon’s characters use to achieve power and control over unsuspecting friends and foes, including witchcraft and other paranormal means, love, aggression, and scientific devices such as psychosurgery and psychopharmacology. A catalog of characters and a complete list of episodes for each series completes this valuable addition to the growing body of scholarship on television’s “Whedonverse.”

About the Author(s)

Sherry Ginn teaches psychology at Rowan-Cabarrus Community College in North Carolina. She is author or editor of books on women, on sex and on time travel in science fiction television, and the award-winning series Farscape and Fringe.

Bibliographic Details

Sherry Ginn
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 198
Bibliographic Info: appendices, notes, bibliography, videography, index
Copyright Date: 2012
pISBN: 978-0-7864-5858-5
eISBN: 978-0-7864-8970-1
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments      ix

Preface: Exploring the Whedonverses      1

1. The Problem of Power and Control      9

2. Love and Sex as Methods of Control      23

3. Aggression and Violence as Methods of Control      43

4. Supernatural Methods of Control      62

5. Manipulating the Brain as a Method of Control      81

6. Manipulating Memory as a Method of Control      97

7. Exerting Control with Pharmaceutical Agents      114

8. Other Methods of Control      130

Epilogue: Final Remarks      144

Appendix A: Whedonverses Character Listnbsp;     145

Appendix B: Series Episode List      149

Chapter Notes      159

Works Cited      173

Index      183