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Degree Name

MA (Master of Arts)



Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Elwood Watson

Committee Members

Stephen G. Fritz, Andrew Herrmann


This thesis used theories of historical memory studies to examine the ways in which the American writer/director/showrunner Joss Whedon uses American memories, particularly those associated with American experiences in the Civil War and World War II, in his works of fictional, genre television and film. Emphasis was placed on the manner in which Whedon engages in the construction of popular memory, how his work challenges and/or reinforces existing memory narratives, and how Whedon uses historical memories to comment on and influence political, social, and cultural issues in the present. This investigation shows how at least certain productions of American popular culture are increasingly dominant forces in the construction of public memory. The major theoretical underpinnings of this examination are provided by the works of John Bodnar, Richard Slotkin, and Jeanine Basinger.

Document Type

Thesis - restricted


Copyright by the authors.