Joss talked to TV Week [Australia] while he was here and this question was posed:
Australia’s education minister, Brendan Nelson, recently had a go at universities because there are more students studying Buffy than Milton. How do you feel about people studying Buffy at university?Absolutely. Doesn't stop me feeling guilty when I read all that pseudo-intellectual stuff, but I love the work published and encouraged by Slayage. I say there should be room for Milton, Dickinson AND Buffy.
I think they should be. There’s two reasons. One, because there’s not an episode of that show which we didn’t have a very specific intent for. There’s no episode that was just there to spin a yarn. They all were trying to capture something, even if it was just like a certain experience. There was always philosophical and political discussion about what it was we were trying to say. But even if none of that was the case, even if it was just a show that people took to, the fact that it’s made such an inroad into popular culture means that it should be studied for whatever it is popular culture seems to have needed that made it grasp onto it. Do I think it’s as good as Milton’s poems? Well, I’m not, like, a big Milton-head. I don’t think it’s as good as Emily Dickinson’s poems. Do I think it’s the greatest literature ever? I don’t think it is. Do I think it’s topical and thoughtful and deals with issues of human morality and personal responsibility and a lot of things that need to be talked about both academically and casually, yes. So I’m all for it.