chapter  15
7 Pages

Afterword: D.I.Y. Disciplinarity—(Dis)Assembling LEGO Studies for the Academy

Buffy Studies was built into a thriving and prominent subfi eld of media studies, generating such a large body of scholarship that it seems likely that Buffy the Vampire Slayer is the most studied television series of all time. 2 But what does this success, at least in visibility and quantity, mean? An outsider might regard this prolifi c scholarly enterprise as a marker of a superlative status: Buffy must be regarded as America’s all-time best television series, or perhaps its most important, most popular, or most controversial program. Or perhaps Whedon must be the medium’s most prolifi c, innovative, or iconic creator, the Shakespeare of television. But even the most ardent “Whedonian” would be hard-pressed to stand by any of these claims-at best, I’d imagine a Whedon scholar would assert that they fi nd one of his programs to be television’s most interesting series, or

perhaps just their personal favorite. If the number of critical words written about an object of study were a clear marker of its merits as an important scholarly topic, then we could expect many other series to dwarf Buffy in academic prominence, including Star Trek , Sesame Street , and The Simpsons (just to account for the letter S), as an easy case can be made for why each of these (and other) series is more vital to understanding television as a medium than Whedon’s work.