Cowboys, Angels, and Demons: American Exceptionalism and the Frontier Myth in the CW's Supernatural

Joseph M. Valenzano, Erika Engstrom

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

The CW network series Supernatural (2005–) draws its text from the horror and fantasy genres as well as religious mythology. Concurrently, it transmits a core “American” mythos. As its protagonists keep watch along a supernatural frontier and eradicate threats to the American way of life, this program both reinforces and alters aspects of the frontier myth and the myth of American exceptionalism by depicting its main characters as representations of America writ large whose mission has grown from an appointment by God to being equals to God. In this manner, Supernatural forwards a new American exceptionalism through the notion that America is exceptional because it is not just divinely appointed by God, but is divine itself.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)552-568
Number of pages17
JournalCommunication Quarterly
Volume62
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 20 2014

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2014, Eastern Communication Association.

Keywords

  • American Exceptionalism
  • Frontier Myth
  • Religious Communication
  • Supernatural

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication

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