In documentary style, Whedonversed examines the scholarly research performed on the television series, films, webisodes, and comic books created by Joss Whedon, including Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1997-2003), Angel (1999-2004), Firefly (2002), Serenity (2005), Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog (2008), and Dollhouse (2009-2010), among other texts. Particularly, the film considers fandom in the context of “Whedon Studies” and scholars, a grassroots community of international academics from a wide range of disciplines. As it looks closely at the relationship between fans, fan-scholars, and scholar-fans, the documentary also focuses on the importance of studying popular culture.

To date, over a dozen global conferences specifically dedicated to the study of Joss Whedon’s works have occurred, taking place in the United Kingdom, Australia, the United States, and Turkey. Though many of these conferences have been hosted by various academic institutions, one group of scholars have consistently and independently convened biennially over the last eight years, a group that became an official non-profit organization in 2008: the Whedon Studies Association (WSA).

Currently over 30 books, with more coming out each year, have been published on a variety of academic topics related to Whedon’s works: from philosophy to physics, language usage to cultural aesthetics, sexual rhetoric to musicology. Also, now in its ninth year and having released 29 issues, Slayage: The Journal of the Whedon Studies Association (formerly Slayage: The Online International Journal of Buffy Studies) continues to be released quarterly. Many of the authors of these books and articles discuss their publications in the documentary and what specifically drew them to Whedon’s texts.

In the tradition of Trekkies (1997), Ringers (2005), and Done the Impossible (2006), Whedonversed considers the rich spectrum of Whedon fans. As such the film includes footage from not only academic conferences but also fan conventions such as Comic-Con and Dragon*Con. Again, the film highlights the significance of popular culture and the reasons it deserves study.   

Subpages (3): Fans Producers Scholars