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Publisher: Intellect, Ltd
Date: 2013
ISBN: 9781783200191

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Fan Phenomena: Buffy the Vampire Slayer

As with most cult phenomena loved long after its debut, no one could have predicted the enduring affection inspired by Joss Whedon’s television series, Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Its use of smart, funny, and emotionally resonant narrative, subversive and feminist characterizations, and unique approaches to television as an art form render it a source of inspiration for fans both existing and newly introduced. Fans create meaning by building on existing narratives through such ‘phenomena’ as fan fiction, media manipulation, and performance. They voice concerns, express and celebrate fandom, and create transformational communities not unlike Buffy’s Scoobies themselves.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Fan Phenomena explores how this continued devotion is internalized, celebrated, and critiqued. Interviews with culture makers, academics, and creators of participatory fandom are a window into the more personal and communal aspects of the fan experience. Essays from critical thinkers and scholars address how Buffy inspires the creation of fan fiction, crafting, performance, cosplay, and sing-alongs. As an accessible, yet vigorous text, Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Fan Phenomena provokes a larger conversation about the relationship between cult properties and fandom, and how their interplay permeates the cultural consciousness, in effect contributing to culture through new narrative, academia, language, and political activism.

  • Contributors include members of the Whedon Studies Association, and Paley Center for Media
  • Features interviews with Culture Makers, Academics, and creators of Participatory Fandom.
  • The only text to address & explore various instances of fan phenomena inspired by the cult television series, Buffy the Vampire Slayer including: Fan fiction, crafting, performance, cosplay, sing-alongs – and other community activities, academia, language, political activism and more.


Fan Phenomena: Buffy the Vampire Slayer was honored with being a finalist for the 2014 Long Mr. Pointy Award—an award given annually by the Whedon Studies Association for outstanding work in Whedon Studies. Finalists represent the highest level of scholarship and original contributions to the field of Whedon Studies.

Book Reviews

“This is a brilliant and compulsively readable exploration of the fandom dynamic in the context of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Fan and scholar Stuller has amassed a fascinating array of essays and interviews by the best and brightest (and wittiest!) who love and study the Slayer.”

— Nancy Holder, NYT Best Selling Author

“Jennifer Stuller’s new compilation has once more revised and expanded our sense of what a Buffy volume can be, this time offering us not only fresh insights into the world of the slayer and her life in the minds of fans, but a new graphically enthralling book design as well—a perfect inducement for what Joss Whedon once called ‘the revolutionary page-turning process.’”

—David Lavery, Founding Co-Editor of Slayage: The Journal of The Whedon Studies Society and author of Joss Whedon: A Creative Portrait

“This book is for all the Buffy fans new and old who are asking themselves “where do we go from here”? Fan Phenomena: Buffy the Vampire Slayer is a celebration, a geek freak out, a fun pontification on what it means to continue to be inspired by this cheeky, kick-ass pop culture icon.”

—Jo Jo Stiletto, Producer Whedonesque Burlesque

“[W]e may not need another Buffy book—but considering the show has been off the air for over a decade and many people are still talking about, writing about, watching, and even creating new Buffy content, one more book on Whedon’s Scooby gang doesn’t seem at all out of place—particularly one that focuses, in large part, on fan responses to the show…. Cover to cover, it’s a solid collection, well rounded, well researched, and written in an accessible tone.”