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Palgrave Macmillan

Supernatural, Humanity, and the Soul

On the Highway to Hell and Back

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  • © 2014


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About this book

Through nine seasons the TV show Supernatural has delved into social, philosophical, literary, and theological themes that not only add depth to the show, but reflect our era's intellectual concerns. This book contextualizes Supernatural within the renaissance of the fantastic in pop culture and traces its roots in folklore and Biblical narrative.

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Table of contents (15 chapters)

  1. Introduction: The Highway to Hell and Back

  2. “Killing Evil Things” or Not—Supernatural‘s Complex Considerations of Monstrosity


"For years, Supernatural has been one of television's most engaging and provocative series. By analyzing the show's proficiency at deconstructing and reconstructing traditional concepts of theology, mythology, and gender within the context of postmodern popular culture, George and Hansen's critical anthology goes a long way toward explaining the series' resilience - making this volume a must read for any serious watcher of the Winchesters." - Mary Pharr, co-editor of Of Bread, Blood and The Hunger Games: Critical Essays on the Suzanne Collins Trilogy (2012)

"Supernatural, Humanity, and the Soul is an essential collection of important new pieces on Supernatural. Together they deliver a nuanced theological, philosophical, and gender-based analysis that revels in the series' multi-layered complexity. At once engaging, illuminating, and thought-provoking, this book offers valuable new approaches to, and insights into, this popular series. It is a must for all seekers of knowledge about the weird and wonderful world of the Winchesters." - Simon Brown, Television and Film Scholar, Kingston University, UK

"Hansen and George take the readers on an illuminating journey through the social and political intricacies that underpin the success and longevity of Supernatural. Offering fresh insight, the authors included in this anthology examine the show's preoccupation with what it means to be human in the twenty-first century. Written with the passion of a hunter and the scholarly rigor of the Men of Letters, this book is a must-read for enthusiasts, students, researchers, and future hunters." - Stacey Abbott, author of Angel: TV Milestone (2009) and co-editor of TV Goes to Hell: An Unofficial Road Map of Supernatural (2011)

About the authors

KT Torrey, Virginia Technical University, USA Elisabeth G. Wolfe, independent scholar Patricia Grosse, Villanova University, USA Cait Coker, Texas A and M University, USA Candace Benefiel, Texas A and M University, USA Sharon D. King, University of California, Los Angeles, USA Rebecca-Anne C. Do Rozario, Monash University, Australia Erin Giannini, University of East Anglia, UK Ralph Beliveau, University of Oklahoma, USA Laura Bolf-Beliveau, University of Central Oklahoma, USA Lugene Rosen, Chapman University, USA Rhonda Nicol, Illinois State University, USA Charlotte Howell, University of Texas at Austin, USA Gregory J. Robinson, George Mason University, USA

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