Buffy studies is an academic field which began in the late 1990s linked to the period of Girl Power and third-wave feminism. These links are explored in depth, for example, in Irene Karras "The Third Wave's Final girl: Buffy the Vampire Slayer".
Buffy studies is a subset of the academic field of cultural studies. It explores issues related to gender as expressed through the content of the television program Buffy the Vampire Slayer and, to a lesser extent, Angel. Such work is concerned with the scholarly study and exploration of Joss Whedon's popular television series that take place in the fictional Buffyverse.
The creator of Buffy, Joss Whedon has responded to the scholarly reaction to his series: "I think it's great that the academic community has taken an interest in the show. I think it's always important for academics to study popular culture, even if the thing they are studying is idiotic. If it's successful or made a dent in culture, then it is worthy of study to find out why. Buffy, on the other hand is, I hope, not idiotic. We think very carefully about what we're trying to say emotionally, politically, and even philosophically while we're writing it... it really is, apart from being a pop-culture phenomenon, something that is deeply layered textually episode by episode.