The Truth of Buffy

Essays on Fiction Illuminating Reality


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About the Book

Seemingly the most fantastical of television series, Buffy the Vampire Slayer proves on close examination to be firmly rooted in real-world concerns. In this collection of critical essays, 15 authors from several disciplines, including literature, the visual arts, theatre, philosophy, and political science, study ways in which Buffy illuminates viewers’ real-life experiences.
Topics include the series’ complicated portrayals of the relationship between soul, morality, and identity; whether Buffy can truly be described as a feminist icon; stereotypes of Native Americans in the episode “Pangs”; the role of signs in the interaction between Buffy’s aesthetics and audience; and the problem of power and underhanded politics in the Buffy universe.

About the Author(s)

Emily Dial-Driver is a professor of English at Rogers State University in Claremore, Oklahoma, and fiction editor of RSU’s Cooweescoowee: A Journal of Arts and Letters.

Sally Emmons is an associate professor of English at Rogers State University and the managing editor of Cooweescoowee.

Jim Ford teaches humanities, philosophy, and religion at Rogers State University and is director of the honors program. His articles have been published in the Journal of Religion, the Journal of the National Collegiate Honors Council, and Honors in Practice.

Carolyn Anne Taylor is an associate professor of political science at Rogers State University and previously served in the Oklahoma House of Representatives. She lives in Claremore, Oklahoma.

Bibliographic Details

Edited by Emily Dial-Driver, Sally Emmons-Featherston, Jim Ford and Carolyn Anne Taylor

Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 248
Bibliographic Info: appendix, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2008
pISBN: 978-0-7864-3799-3
eISBN: 978-0-7864-5167-8
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Emily Dial-Driver      1
Jim Ford      5

What’s It All About, Buffy? Victor Frank and Buffy
Emily Dial-Driver      9
Got Myself a Soul? The Puzzling Treatment of the Soul in Buffy
J. Renée Cox      24
Not Just Another Love Song: Buffy’s Music as Representation of Emerging Adulthood
Jacqueline Bach      38
Is That Stereotype Dead? Working with and Against “Western” Stereotypes in Buffy
Sally Emmons-Featherston      55
Lord Acton Is Alive and Well in Sunnydale: Politics and Power in Buffy
Kenneth S. Hicks      67
Willow’s Electric Arcs: Moral Choices Sparked by Connections
Frances E. Morris      83
Is It Art? The Artful “Hush” of St. Francis and the Gentlemen Blue Meanies
Gary Moeller      96
Signs, Signs, Everywhere Signs: Brechtian Techniques in Buffy
David Blakely      107
“The Ants Go Marching”: Effective Lyrics in Buffy Episodes
Lori M. Butler      120
“Love the One You’re With”: Developing Xander
J. Michael McKeon      131
Texting Buffy: Allusions of Many Kinds
Emily Dial-Driver and Jesse Stallings      142
“What Shall Cordelia Say?” Buffy as Morality Play for the Twenty-First Century’s Therapeutic Ethos
Gregory J. Thompson and Sally Emmons-Featherston      158
Witchy Women: Witchcraft in Buffy and in Contemporary African Culture
Juliet Evusa      173
“I’m Cookie Dough”: Exploring Buffy Iconography
Kenneth S. Hicks and Carolyn Anne Taylor      185
A Life Well-Lived: Buffy and the Pursuit of Happiness
Jim Ford      201

Appendix: Buffy the Vampire Slayer Episodes      211
Works Cited      213
About the Contributors      225
Index      229