The Joss Whedon-helmed television series, Dollhouse may have only lasted two series but the fact that I am here announcing the second published volume of essays on the series over four years after its last episode aired is testament to its status as a rich, provocative narrative worthy of serious discourse beyond the living room.
This week, Joss Whedon’s Dollhouse: Confounding Purpose, Confusing Identity published by Rowman & Littlefield hits shelves. While it is the second Dollhouse book published—the first being the Jane Espenson-edited, Inside Joss’ Dollhouse: From Alpha to Rossum—this one distinguishes itself by being a collection of purely academic writings.
When my essay on the character of Claire Saunders was chosen to be in the Smart Pop Books collection just before the show ended, I must admit I thought that it would likely be the first and last Dollhouse book. Then along came Sherry Ginn, Alyson R. Buckman, and Heather M.Porter with an opportunity to contribute to the world of Dollhouse and Joss Whedon scholarship once more.
This time, I wrote about the evolution of Echo from a code name to a unique, newly-formed individual. Of my chapter, “Ritual, Rebirth, and the Rising Tide: Water and the Transcendent Self,” Buckman writes in the book’s intro:
Klein traces the many ways in which water functions in the series as a transformative agent, especially in Echo’s journey. Greek mythology, Japanese design elements, and psychology all come together in Klein’s essay to illustrate how important water is to Dollhouse.
My fellow authors delve into the show’s considerations of law, race, gender, ethics, and psychology. A full list of the book’s chapters can be found on the publisher’s site.
Joss Whedon’s Dollhouse: Confounding Purpose, Confusing Identity is available on Amazon. If you read it, let me know! I look forward to discussing with you. Perhaps a rewatch is in order as well.