Books > Psychgeist of Pop Culture > Psychgeist of Pop Culture: Umbrella Academy

Psychgeist of Pop Culture: Umbrella Academy

Arienne Ferchaud, PhD

The Umbrella Academy is a series of graphic novels from the minds of Gerard Way and Gabriel Ba. This NYT best seller turned Netflix series centers around the lives of Hargreeves family, children inexplicably born to random, unconnected women who first showed signs of pregnancy the day that they gave birth. After the death of their adopted patriarch, Sir Reginald Hargreeves, each of the extraordinary children reunite and unpack their unique inner demons and traumas. The Netflix series has proved to be incredibly popular, with Season 3 attracting 124.53 million viewing hours during the week it premiered (Netflix, 2022). This, combined with the complexity of its numerous characters and story, make it especially compelling for both lay audiences and researchers. The proposed volume, The Psychology of The Umbrella Academy will collect chapters from researchers across the fields of psychology and media effects to explore how the show illustrated psychological constructs. The book will also examine psychological audience responses to the show. 

Chapter 1. “I Know That He Needs My Help. I Need Your Help Too”: Hargreeves’ Family Trauma (Shane Tilton)
Chapter 2. When everyone is bad: Protagonists, Villain Protagonists, and Morality (Arienne Ferchaud)
Chapter 3. It’s not me, It’s you: Dysfunctional families, childhood trauma, and adult sibling relationships (Jasmine Heyward)
Chapter 4. Finding Hope in a Global Apocalypse (Daniel Kaufmann)
Chapter 5. Five and Dolores: A Meta-Para-Social Relationship (Emory S. Daniel)
Chapter 6. Klaus the Kindly Cult Leader: Humanizing cults and their followers (Kelly Chernin)
Chapter 7. Untitled Chapter about Viktor’s Transition (Sofia Rhea & Laramie Taylor)
Chapter 8. Morality, perceptions, and expectations in parasocial relationships (Michelle Möri & Andreas Fahr)

Coming Soon

Arienne Ferchaud, PhD is an Assistant Professor in the School of Communication where research focuses broadly on emerging media entertainment from a media psychology perspective. She is interested in how new media technologies change the way users engage with entertainment content. She has a special interest in narrative theory and how new modes of storytelling change how we perceive stories. Her work has been published in journals such as Computers in Human Behavior, Journal of Gaming and Virtual Worlds, Human Communication Research, and Imagination, Cognition and Personality, and her research has been presented at both national and international conferences. She is also the author of Binge and Bingeability: The Antecedents and Consequences of Binge Watching Behavior.