Mapping Smallville: Critical Essays on the Series and Its Characters

Mapping Smallville: Critical Essays on the Series and Its Characters

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One of the first full-length academic projects on the television series Smallville, this collection of new essays explains why the WB/CW series is important to understanding contemporary popular culture. The essays are presented in four sections covering broad categories: Clark Kent's metamorphosis to Superman and the influence of his parents and the home; the role of the series' noteworthy female characters; the series' representations of the Other, explorations of identity, and the ways in which characters speak to Clark's own struggles; and audience reception of the series and its position within the Superman narrative universe.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781476617510
Publisher: McFarland & Company, Incorporated Publishers
Publication date: 07/09/2014
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 224
Sales rank: 945,320
File size: 613 KB
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Cory Barker is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Communication & Culture at Indiana University. His writing has appeared in Vox, Complex, The A.V. Club, and other publications. He lives in Peoria, Illinois. Chris Ryan is an editor and social media researcher in Austin, Texas. Myc Wiatrowski is an analyst of business and culture and associate instructor in the Department of Folklore and Ethnomusicology at Indiana University in Bloomington.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments v
Introduction—Cory Barker, Chris Ryan and Myc Wiatrowski 1
Part One: Smallville’s ­Decade-Long Mythical Journey
Mythicizing Clark Kent: Archetypes and Mythic Structures of Smallville—Daniel P. Compora 13
The Smallville Destiny: The Superhero’s Shaping by His Archetypal Fathers—James F. Iaccino 25
“Always hold on to Smallville”: Domesticity and the Male Hero—Bridget Kies 45
Part Two: Powerful Women
Sidekicks or Heroines? The Feminist Successes and Failures of Smallville’s Leading Ladies—Valerie Estelle Frankel 59
Another Way: Tess Mercer as Ethical Hero—Peter Melville 83
Girl Friday Power: Chloe Sullivan and the Hacker Sidekicks of ­Twenty-First Century Teen Television—Tara K. Parmiter 100
Part Three: Bodies, Identities and Politics
Rummaging Through the Closet: (Un)Masking the Signified Other in Smallville’s First Four Seasons—Jonathan A. Austad 115
Kryptonian Encounters: Model Immigration and Superman’s Impossible Dream—Roger Almendarez 132
Bodies as Unreliable Signifiers: The Inconsistency of Smallville’s Character Construction—Daniel Kulle 145
Part Four: Reception
Finding Clark Kent: Sites of Nostalgia and Affect—Gregory Bray and John Patrick Bray 161
“Chlark” Versus “Clois”: Shippers, ­Anti-Fans and ­Anti-Fan Fans—Cory Barker 174
Selected Bibliography 193
About the Contributors 207
Index 209

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