Charmed academia

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Charmed academia is a subset of the academic field of cultural studies. It explores issues related to gender as expressed through the content of the television program Charmed and, to a lesser extent, its novel spin-off series. Such work is concerned with the scholarly study and exploration of the television series that takes place in the fictional Charmed Universe.

Development as academic field[edit]

Since its inception, Charmed has interested the scholars of popular culture, especially those of cult television, including some of the most successful in their field.[1] The series has been studied and analysed by various writers, leading to the publication of several literary guides and essays which have investigated Charmed from a variety of perspectives, ranging from psychological and philosophical (in terms of morality, the supernatural and mythology), to the social implications of the series, including feminism, sexuality, the show's casting, and its effect on viewers. One guide, Investigating Charmed: The Magic Power of TV, explained its aims of following the "groundbreaking series" as investigating a franchise which has "established a continuing global presence as the very essence of cult TV".[2] Another writer, Jennifer Crusie Smith (editor of Totally Charmed: Demons, Whitelighters and the Power of Three), explains that attention to Charmed is not limited to the view points of academic publications and that "beyond these writers, many more voices weigh in, from the breathless adoration of the Internet fan boards to the [television] critic".[3] Notably, Charmed has been used as the subject of university research papers, especially in conjunction with television and media studies, or the study of feminism in popular culture. One example is M. D. Meyer's essay, "The process of developmental empowerment in Charmed: Implications of a television narrative on third-wave feminism, witchcraft, and disempowerment.",[4] which resulted with her being awarded a Certificate in Women’s Studies from Ohio University in 2004.[5] Another instance includes Maria D. DeRose's dissertation for a Doctor of Philosophy degree at Bowling Green State University, entitled "Searching for Wonder Women: Examining Women's Non-Violent Power in Feminist Science Fiction", which explores the role of violence in feminist science fiction, with one case study into "The Transformative, Transgressive Heroic Women of Charmed".[6]

Ruth Glick, in her Charmed academic essay, "A Stake in the Future", describes the series as "big bucks entertainment. But its also more - a cultural icon with a welcome message about modern society". In her essay, Glick explores the series as evidence for Charmed's success as popular media through which modern society's attempts at female empowerment are realised and how effectively the series is able to combat the negative stereotypes of the role of women and witchcraft from the Middle Ages to the modern day.[7]

Published works[edit]

Published works regarding Charmed, both guide books and scholarly essay collections, include:

Book title First released
The Charmed Internet Guide August 1999
A guide to Charmed's internet presence and online fandom. By Angela C. N. Hyatt
The Book of Shadows: The Unofficial Guide to Charmed October 2000
Analysis of Charmed as a television series and its roots in ancient Wicca traditions; comparing the religion of real Wiccan practitioners with that of the in-series universe. By Ngaire Genge
Charmed! The Best Websites and Factoids March 2002
A concise exploration of Charmed on the internet. By Angela C. N. Hyatt
The Book of Three April 2004
Exploration of the series and its mythology, and an extended overview of the history of Charmed through individual episode analysis and behind-the-scenes information. By Diana G. Gallagher and Paul Ruditis
Charmed Book of Love Spells September 2004
Presents the notions of love used in Charmed as an art form worthy of acknowledgment as literature. By Paul Ruditis
"Die Macht von Dreien..." Medienhexen und Moderne Fangemeinschaften. Bedeutungskonstruktionen im Internet October 2005
(English: "The Power of Three..." Media Witches and Modern Fan Communities. The Construction of Meaning on the Internet). Conducted in both German and English, the study is concerned with genre analysis and grounded theory evaluation of Charmed's fan-base, particularly on the internet. By Johanna Mutzl
Totally Charmed: Demons, Whitelighters and the Power of Three November 2005
A collection of essays covering many topics including written by a variety of fantasy, science fiction novelists, essayists, columnists, film critics and scientists. For instance, Debbie Viguié looks for foundations of the series in classic fairy tales, while Ruth Glick celebrates the series as a progressive step for female power. John G. Hemry compares the true power of the number three throughout history. Anne Perry considers the road to good or evil in light of the sisters' emotions: love, guilt, anger and more, whilst Kate Donovan explains why the Halliwell sisters will never truly defeat evil.
Triquetra: The Unofficial and Unauthorized Guide to Charmed June 2006
Triquetra explores every episode, revealing the complex nature of the Halliwell sisters and both their personal and supernatural lives. By Keith Topping
The Book of Three, Volume II November 2006
Sequel to the first book in the series, it continues its exploration of the series and its mythology, and an extended overview of the history of Charmed through individual episode analysis and behind-the-scenes information. By Diana G. Gallagher, Paul Ruditis, and Phyllis Ungerleider
Investigating Charmed: The Magic Power of TV February 2008
A collection of essays which explore the show's unique brand of witchcraft and fantasy, notions of upturned sexuality, alternative forms of family life, ideas of feminism and the portrayal of female heroes. It looks also at the fans' relationship to the show, as well as the novels, fan fics and blogs it has spurned. Edited by Karin Beeler and Stan Beeler (of the University of Northern British Columbia).
Bewitched Again: Supernaturally Powerful Women on Television, 1996-2011 July 2013
A collection of essays on representations of supernatural women in television, with a specific emphasis on Charmed (featuring an image of the Charmed Ones, Piper, Phoebe and Paige, on the front cover). By Julie D. O'Reilly (of Heidelberg University).

Areas of study[edit]

Charmed academia includes studies of Charmed in relation to:

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ "The Essential Cult Television Reader: Contributors", University Press of Kentucky
  2. ^ "Investigating Charmed: The Magic Power of TV", Barnes and Noble (February, 2008)
  3. ^ Smith, Jennifer Crusie "Intro from Totally Charmed: Demons, Whitelighters and the Power of Three", jennycrusie.com (2005)
  4. ^ Meyer, M. D. E. "The process of developmental empowerment in Charmed: Implications of a television narrative on third-wave feminism, witchcraft, and disempowerment.", All Academic Research (May 27, 2003)
  5. ^ Meyer, M. D. E."M. D. E. Meyer C.V.", (2003)
  6. ^ DeRose, M. D. "Searching for Wonder Women: Examining Women's Non-Violent Power in Feminist Science Fiction", (May, 2006)
  7. ^ Glick, Ruth "A Stake in the Future", Totally Charmed, 2005 (Preview at Google Books

See also[edit]