Battle of the Blockbusters: Joss Whedon as public pedagogue.

Christine Jarvis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article discusses the concept of public pedagogy and the reasons for considering it relevant to the work of the writer/ director/ producer Joss Whedon, creator of numberous TV programmes, such as Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel and Firefly, and Films Serenity, Marvel's The Avengers and The Age of Ultron. It analyzes Marvel’s The Avengers (Whedon, 2012) and Christopher Nolan’s (2012b) The Dark Knight Rises as competing public pedagogies. It suggests that popular films can be seen as important educational projects; filmmakers have tremendous resources at their disposal and their creations have a global reach that cannot be matched by individual teachers or national education systems. Whedon can be seen as a radical educator; he enables his audiences to experience ways of looking at the world that challenge aspects of neo-liberal hegemony, and also encourages them to become critical thinkers who have to reflect on their own feelings and perspectives and resist simplistic perspectives on morality and the difficult political choices facing global society.
Original languageEnglish
Article number4
Number of pages24
JournalSlayage: The Journal of Whedon Studies
Volume 14.1
Issue number(43)
Publication statusPublished - 29 Feb 2016


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