since 1965  (really?)

Exploring the Whedonverse

This course listing applies to a Spring 2016 course. To find current courses, check out the Find a Course page.

Spring 2016
English 198
2 Unit(s)



About the Course:

Course Summary

Joss Whedon has become a cultural icon. In this course, we will examine his wide array of work — including Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Firefly,  and The Avengers  — with an analytical lense in order to better understand the structure, themes and techniques that make Whedon’s work so successful. This course requires dedicated attention to assigned readings and film screenings, and will be a fun and interactive way to learn about one of the most popular writers in the entertainment industry today.


Attendance/Participation. It is important to show up and participate in class discussions and activities. This course meets once a week for 2 hours. Students are allowed 3 absences over the course of the semester. If possible, please give us advanced notice if you cannot make it to class.

Reading Responses. One 400 word reading response is due at the end of the last class of each unit. You may respond to any combination of readings that were assigned during that unit. There are no topic guidelines — write about whatever interests you! Please use MLA format and bring your printed responses to class.

Unit Quizzes. There will be a total of three quizzes — one at the end of each unit. Each quiz will be composed of 15 multiple choice questions and 1 short answer. The quizzes will be open note and open book.

Final Project. A critical essay (4 pages) analyzing a Whedon written and/or directed episode or movie. You will also briefly present your arguments in class. You can do this however you like — feel free to be creative! Details TBD.


Grading Breakdown. There will be a total of 150 points to earn over the duration of the course, distributed as follows:

Reading Responses: 30 pts. (10 pts. each)

Unit Quizzes: 60 pts. (20 pts. each)

Final Project: 60 pts.

In order to receive a “P” you must have a total of 105 pts by the end of the course and have missed no more than 3 classes.

Course Content:


Reading Joss Whedon by Rhonda Wilcox, et al.

Joss Whedon: A Creative Portrait by David Lavery

Much Ado About Nothing by William Shakespeare


Selected excerpts from Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, Dollhouse and Firefly


Selected excerpts from Serenity, Dr. Horrible’s Sing Along Blog, Much Ado About Nothing, The Avengers and The Cabin in the Woods

An online course reader that includes all required texts will be provided on the first day of class. All television and film screenings will occur during class (in other words, you won’t need to find a way to access episodes or movies on your own).

How to Enroll:

Please fill out this form to enroll. In order to receive the CCN to officially enroll on Tele-BEARS, you will need to attend the first class (January 20th, 2016). The first 25 students to fill out the form and attend the first class will receive CCNs. 

Also, please note that though this DeCal is listed as an upper division course, everyone is encouraged to join!

Course Contact: whedonversedecal AT

Faculty Sponsor: Hertha D. Sweet Wong

Time & Location:

Section 1Miranda Werts
Sabrina Werts
25130 DwinelleW 7p-9p1/20started

Uploaded Files:

Syllabus: WhedonverseSyllabus.pdfNov 25141kbAdobe PDF (Viewer)View Download

Course info last modified November 25, 2015. This page has been viewed 2834 times.

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