I'm Buffy and You're History: Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Contemporary Feminism
|Series:||Investigating Cult TV Series|
Buffy the Vampire Slayer gave contemporary TV viewers an exhilarating alternative to the tired cultural trope of a hapless, attractive blonde woman victimized by a murderous male villain. With its strong, capable heroine, witty dialogue, and a creator (Joss Whedon) who identifies himself as a feminist, the cult show became one of the most widely analysed texts in contemporary popular culture.
The last episode, broadcast in 2002, did not herald the passing of a fleeting phenomenon: Buffy is a media presence still, active on DVD and the internet, alive in the career of Joss Whedon and studied internationally. I'm Buffy and You're History puts the entire series under the microscope, investigating its gender and feminist politics.In this book, Patricia Pender argues that Buffy includes diverse elements of feminism and reconfigures - and sometimes revises - the ideals of American second wave feminism for a wide third wave audience. She also explores the ways in which the final season's vision of collective feminist activism negotiates racial and class boundaries.
Exploring the Slayer's postmodern politics, her position as a third wave feminist icon, her placing of masculinity in extremis, and her fandom and legacy in popular culture, this is a fresh and challenging contribution to the growing literature on the pitfalls and pleasures of a great cult TV show.
"I have read several Buffy Studies books, and this one will count among the best. One of its most appealing features is that it constitutes a general reappraisal of the series as well as a hefty appraisal of just about everything that has been published on the subject before...this book can be summed up with the phrase 'how to do (feminist) things with Buffy.'"--Georges-Claude Guilbert, Cercles, January 2017
Patricia Pender is Senior Lecturer in English at the University of Newcastle, Australia. She is the author of Early Modern Women's Writing and the Rhetoric of Modesty (2012) and specialises in gender and popular culture, early modern literature and feminist theory. A member of the editorial board of Slayage, she has published numerous articles on feminist theory and Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
Introduction1. "I'm Buffy and You're ... History": The Postmodern Politics of Buffy the Vampire Slayer2. "Kicking Ass is Comfort Food": Buffy as Third Wave Feminist Icon3. "This Revolution Will Be Televised": Buffy and the Transnational Sisterhood of Slayers4. "Never Kill a Boy on the First Date": Masculinity in ExtremisI. Angel's Abjection II. Riley, Heteronormativity, and RelapseIII. Sex, Suffering, and Spike5. "From Beneath You It Devours": Andrew and the Homoerotics of Evil6. "Why Can't You Just Masturbate Like the Rest of Us?" Pleasure, Pedagogy, and Fandom7. "I Think the Subtext Here is Rapidly Becoming Text": The Slayer's Legacy in Popular Culture 8. "Where Do We Go from Here?": The Future of Buffy StudiesNotesBibliography