Buffy and Complications of the Soul

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Entitled “Buffy, Angel, andthe Complications of the Soul: A Collaborative Perspective on the Origin Episodes,” this chapter was published in the anthology Buffy Conquers the Academy: Conference Papers from the 2009/2010 Popular Culture/American Culture Associations.

Book description:

Publication Date: July 1, 2013 | ISBN-10: 144384831X | ISBN-13: 978-1443848312 | Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2013

Buffy Conquers the Academy represents the cusp of pioneering research into a television show that has inspired a wealth of academic study since its cancellation in 2003. As a reflection of the current obsession with all things vampiric, this text offers an alternative perspective on the vampire myth from the point of view of scholars in the field and thereby celebrates the continuing existence of Buffy Studies as an endlessly fruitful academic discipline that is truly global and interdisciplinary. The Associations of Popular Culture and American Culture (PCA/ACA) have a tradition of encouraging growth in intellectual inquiry, and the acceptance of Buffy Studies as a subgenre of the Vampire area in 2008 reflected the belief in this globally recognized, sustainable discipline. In this volume, Buffyologists delve into the intricate world of Sunnydale from multiple perspectives that cut across all academic disciplines, ranging from gender/sexuality to religion, making this collection an excellent reflection of the current body of work under the umbrella of Buffy Studies.

Chapter abstract:

Examining various presentations of the soul in the Buffyverse, including the spin-off show Angel, the authors posit that the soul offers the core presentations of marginalization and redemption to provide a touchstone around which all characters in this universe revolve. The soul, and its complications, becomes the lens through which show creator Joss Whedon offers a variety of arguments regarding humanity, morality, and choice in an ever more complicated world.

This chapter is co-authored by Esther Liberman-Cuenca of Marymount California University.