Buffy in the Classroom: Essays on Teaching with the Vampire Slayer

McFarland
1
Free sample

This book combines the academic and practical aspects of teaching by exploring the ways in which Buffy the Vampire Slayer is taught, internationally, through both interdisciplinary and discipline-based approaches. Essays describe how Buffy can be used to explain—and encourage further discussion of—television’s narrative complexity, archetypal characters, morality, feminism, identity, ethics, non-verbal communication, film production, media and culture, censorship, and Shakespeare, among other topics.
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About the author

Jodie A. Kreider is an academic historian and lecturer in arts, humanities and social sciences at the University of Denver. Her work has been published in the North American Journal of Welsh Studies. Meghan K. Winchell is an associate professor of history at Nebraska Wesleyan University in Lincoln, Nebraska.
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Additional Information

Publisher
McFarland
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Published on
Jan 10, 2014
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Pages
231
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ISBN
9780786462148
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Language
English
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Genres
Education / General
Performing Arts / Television / General
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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Throughout World War II, when Saturday nights came around, servicemen and hostesses happily forgot the war for a little while as they danced together in USO clubs, which served as havens of stability in a time of social, moral, and geographic upheaval. Meghan Winchell demonstrates that in addition to boosting soldier morale, the USO acted as an architect of the gender roles and sexual codes that shaped the "greatest generation."

Combining archival research with extensive firsthand accounts from among the hundreds of thousands of female USO volunteers, Winchell shows how the organization both reflected and shaped 1940s American society at large. The USO had hoped that respectable feminine companionship would limit venereal disease rates in the military. To that end, Winchell explains, USO recruitment practices characterized white middle-class women as sexually respectable, thus implying that the sexual behavior of working-class women and women of color was suspicious. In response, women of color sought to redefine the USO's definition of beauty and respectability, challenging the USO's vision of a home front that was free of racial, gender, and sexual conflict.

Despite clashes over class and racial ideologies of sex and respectability, Winchell finds that most hostesses benefited from the USO's chaste image. In exploring the USO's treatment of female volunteers, Winchell not only brings the hostesses' stories to light but also supplies a crucial missing piece for understanding the complex ways in which the war both destabilized and restored certain versions of social order.

As Western educational practices have become global, the cultural aspects and the problems associated with them have become more apparent as they are contrasted with local ways of learning and knowing in the widely diverse societies around the world. The Western world has tended to assume that its concepts of progress and development should be universally welcomed, especially in countries that are struggling economically. Most cultures tend to feel a similar preference for their own world views. However, the West has had a history of not only ethnocentrism, but colonialism, in which it has forcibly attempted to reshape the cultures, societies, politics, and economics of conquered territories in its own likeness. Though some of the more overt, political colonialist practices have been abandoned, colonial ways of thinking, thinking about thinking, and training in how to think, are still practiced, and these in turn, through the education of each nationstate’s children, affect every aspect of economics, politics, and social development in the global village that our world has become. It is critical to examine the basic assumptions of Western education in order to trace their effects on local ways of knowing in many areas which may not share these assumptions, and which may be threatened and destroyed by them as global interaction in politics, economics, and education increases. The argument that education is primarily a moral endeavor may have been forced into the background for a time by rationalism and secularism, but it is reappearing as an important consideration in education once again. The question remains, however; whose morality should be institutionalized by compulsory educational programs—that of the individual, the family, the professional, the elite, the state, or the nation? And if the rules of science are no longer the single authority in identifying truth and reality, who decides the authorities we should rely on?
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