Slayage  11.2/12.1 [38-39], Summer 2014

David Lavery and Rhonda V. Wilcox, Co-Editors



Joss in June: Selected Essays

Edited by K. Dale Koontz and Ensley Guffey


K. Dale Koontz (Cleveland Community College)


Tanya R. Cochran (Union College)

By Beholding, We Become Changed: Narrative Transubstantiation and the Whedonverses

Dustin Dunaway (Pueblo Community College)

Whedon and the Fall of Man: How Joss Whedon Subverts the Myths of Masculinity

Sara Hays (Middle Tennessee State University)

Tight Pants and Pretty Floral Bonnets: Outfitting the Outlaws of the ‘Verse

Derrick King (University of Florida)

The (Bio)political Economy of Bodies, Culture as Commodification, and the Badiouian Event: Reading Political Allegories in The Cabin in the Woods

Cori Mathis (Middle Tennessee State University)

Bringing the Pain: An Examination of Marti Noxon’s Contributions to Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Masani McGee (University of Rochester)

Big Men in Spangly Outfits: Spectacle and Masculinity in Joss Whedon’s The Avengers

Jenny Platz (University of Rhode Island)

Tamara de Lempicka, Glorificus, and the Modern Woman

Elizabeth L. Rambo (Campbell University)

Banter, Battles, Betrayal, and “Kissy th’ face!”: Sugarshock!’s Playful Whedonverse

Curtis A. Weyant (Signum University)

Exploring Cabins in the Whedonverse Woods

Rhonda V. Wilcox (Gordon State College)

Joss Whedon’s Translation of Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing: Historical Double Consciousness, Reflections, and Frames

Amy A. Williams (University at Albany-SUNY)

“All the Cash, All the Fame, and Social Change!”: Teaching Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog as a Social Message Film


Contributor Bios

Tanya R. Cochran, Ph.D., is Associate Professor of English at Union College in Lincoln, Nebraska, as well as cofounder and current president (2012-14) of the Whedon Studies Association. She serves on the editorial boards of Slayage, its undergraduate partner Watcher Junior, and the Journal of Fandom Studies. Her publications include The Multiple Worlds of Fringe: Essays on the J. J. Abrams Science Fiction Series (McFarland, forthcoming), coedited with Sherry Ginn and Paul Zinder; Reading Joss Whedon (Syracuse UP, 2014), coedited with Rhonda V. Wilcox, Cynthea Masson, and David Lavery; Investigating Firefly and Serenity: Science Fiction on the Frontier (I. B. Tauris, 2008), coedited with Wilcox; essays in multiple anthologies; and articles for journals such as Transformative Works and Cultures.

Dustin Dunaway spends his career creating things and, more often, ruining beloved things for people. After receiving degrees in Visual & Performing Arts and Communication from the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs, he set his sights on academia, teaching communication studies at Pueblo Community College. Often, one can hear him dissecting popular culture to the groans of students who will never hear Blurred Lines the same again. In addition to academic work, he is a filmmaker. He served as producer for the Student Academy Award nominated The Last Bogatyr and co-wrote the short Menschen. Currently, he is finishing post-production on his first feature film, Iaga.


Sara Hays is a PhD candidate at Middle Tennessee State University focusing on Children’s and Victorian literature. Her dissertation explores the fictional depiction of learning spaces in children’s school stories. She has a master’s degree in literature from Belmont University in Nashville and a bachelor of arts in mass media communications from Emmanuel College in Franklin Springs, Georgia. She has worked as an adjunct professor at various schools in the Nashville area since 2006, teaching literature and composition courses, and she is currently serving as a graduate assistant at MTSU. She lives in Tennessee with her husband Travis, who is a Steadicam operator, and her daughter Echo. And yes, her daughter is named after that Echo.


Derrick King is currently a Ph.D. student in the English Department at the University of Florida, where he studies contemporary U.S. literature, film, and culture. Some of his research interests include Marxism, Utopian studies, queer theory, and science fiction. He has a chapter on Dollhouse and critical dystopia in the recently published Joss Whedon's Dollhouse: Confounding Purpose, Confusing Identity (Rowman & Littlefield, 2014). He has also presented his research at several conferences, including Slayage, MELUS, the Popular Culture Association, and the Marxist Reading Group.

Cori Mathis received her MA from Auburn University and is currently a doctoral student at Middle Tennessee State University, where she was awarded a research fellowship. Some of her recent projects have dealt with televisual intertextuality, Byron’s influence on the teen television drama, and local color television. Most of her research centers on teenagers and their representation on television. Her dissertation primarily explores the need to create a better, more representative categorical system for teen television dramas. She firmly believes that the only crime committed in season three was SMG’s baby bangs.

Masani McGee is a doctoral candidate and writing instructor at the University of Rochester.  Her research interests include horror and fantasy film with an emphasis on portrayals of masculinity.  Her previous work includes an essay titled “The Godmothers of Them All: Female-Centered Blaxploitation Films and the Heroines of Joss Whedon” in the forthcoming book Race and Ethnicity in the Works of Joss Whedon.


Jenny Platz is a PhD student in English at the University of Rhode Island. She earned her M.A. in Cinema Studies at San Francisco State University in 2011. She has presented at conferences in areas such as gender and video game studies, fairy tales and modern film, music and anti-nostalgia in television, and the biography film.  Her scholarly work has appeared in the 2012 issue of Enthymema, titled "Return to the Grindhouse: Tarantino and the Modernization of 1970s Exploitation Films" and as a chapter titled “The Woman in the Red Dress: Sexuality, Femme Fatales, the Gaze and Ada Wong” in the 2014 book Unraveling Resident Evil: Essays on the Complex Universe of the Games and Films.  She currently teaches coming of age literature at URI and film history at NOVA Community College. 

Elizabeth L. Rambo is Associate Professor of English at Campbell University, specializing in medieval literature. She co-edited Buffy Goes Dark: Essays on the Final Two Seasons of Buffy the Vampire Slayer on Television with Lynne Y. Edwards and James B. South (2009), and has published essays on Buffy, Angel, and Firefly, including “Metaphoric Unity and Ending: Sending and Receiving Firefly’s Last ‘Message’” in Reading Joss Whedon (2014). Her medieval scholarship deals with Celtic studies, Arthurian legends, and medievalism in pop culture. She started watching Buffy in 1997, and is a charter member of the Whedon Studies Association. 

Curtis A. Weyant is a digital content specialist by trade and a part-time MA student at Signum University studying speculative fiction. He co-hosts Kat & Curt’s TV-ReView, a weekly podcast analyzing episodes of Buffy/Angel and Doctor Who, and he occasionally writes at He currently haunts the backwoods of Central New York. 

Rhonda V. Wilcox, Ph.D., is a professor of English at Gordon State College (Georgia). She is the editor of Studies in Popular Culture  and the coeditor of Slayage: The Journal of the Whedon Studies Association. She is the author of Why Buffy Matters: The Art of Buffy the Vampire Slayer (2005); she is the coeditor, with David Lavery, of Fighting the Forces: What’s at Stake in Buffy the Vampire Slayer (2002); with Tanya R. Cochran, of Investigating Firefly and Serenity: Science Fiction on the Frontier (2008); with Sue Turnbull, of Investigating Veronica Mars: Essays on the Teen Detective Series (2011); and, with Lavery, Cochran, and Cynthea Masson, of Reading Joss Whedon (2014). She is a co-founding editor of Critical Studies in Television, founder and past president of the Whedon Studies Association, and past president of the Popular Culture Association in the South.  

Amy A. Williams is a doctoral student in the Department of Communication at the University at Albany-SUNY. Her primary research is in the area of health communication, with a focus on the interpersonal and media influences that affect our health-related behaviors. She is particularly interested in the persuasive effects of health and illness narratives in popular culture, especially those that cover women’s health issues and mental health. Her current work explores the role of supportive communication in prenatal care.