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Course Highlight: Exploring Whedonverse

Posted Sep, 4, 2013

Course Sec Title Hrs Days Times Instructor
HONR 30297
002 Exploring Whedonverse
2 MW 4:25-5:15 Jenna Bates

Course Description:

The pop-culture reputation of writer/director Joss Whedon has grown steadily since the creation of Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1992). Whedon also has been attracting the attention of scholars for more than a decade. Why does Whedon’s work appeal to both popular and academic audiences? To attempt to understand the popular as well as academic relevance of Joss Whedon, students enrolled in this class will study a portion of Whedon’s oeuvre, including episodes from the television series Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, and Firefly as well as his Webisode "Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog," and his full-length feature film The Avengers

Students will investigate Whedon’s treatment of heroes (using Joseph Campbell’s hero monomyth as foundation), particularly his injection of feminism into classic hero archetypes. Within this broader context, students will also study Whedon’s treatment of language, death, religion, and the concept of family. This course will engage students in thinking critically about film and television. Students will have to communicate these ideas verbally and in writing, and this course will help to stimulate their thinking about not only Joss Whedon’s many products but also all visual texts that they encounter now and in the future, developing informed opinions about the relevance, motives, and uses of visual texts.  

Students enrolled in this class will be required to view all required visual texts and to read several academic articles related to those texts. Three to five short quizzes will be administered. In addition, students will have to submit a written proposal for their final assessment, which will be of their choosing (e.g. a traditional analytic and researched essay on a topic relevant to the class, a self-created video that pays homage to and analyzes Whedon’s style, a creative writing or artistic representation of Whedon’s ideas, etc.).

Registration Information:

See your Honors advisor to enroll in this course.