Co-editors Andrea Wood and Jamie McDaniel
Film scholar Robin Wood famously argued that “central to the effect and fascination of horror films is their fulfillment of our nightmare wish to smash the norms that oppress us and which our moral condition teaches us to revere.” From the very beginnings of the silent film era to our present day, the horror genre has continued to attract audiences and proliferate across multiple modes of film and media—addressing our fears, anxieties, and sometimes our deepest, darkest fantasies. Amidst the perpetual unease of the 21st century with its ever-present threats of environmental disaster and climate change, viral pandemics, economic recessions, political uprisings, mass shootings, and ongoing warfare it is hardly surprising that the horror genre is more prolific and popular than ever.
Although a number of excellent horror film companions currently exist, few have taken a broader approach to the genre in examining its manifestations across multiple media. Consequently, this collection aims to assemble a wide range of scholarship addressing the intersections, influences, and impacts of the horror genre’s proliferation across multiple forms of media including but not limited to film, television, web series, video games, tabletop and RPGs, comics and graphic novels, social media, etc. Our guiding thematic focus is “new directions” in horror. Many of our examples will hail from the present century (or look at ways the present century adapts/looks back at previous examples, since most “new directions” in both media and its scholarship are clearly derived from previous trails). Despite the shadow cast by Hollywood, we will attempt to include a broad spectrum of film, television, and other media examples reflecting wide-ranging international perspectives. Additionally, we will aim to draw together a diversity of approaches, from scholars of pedagogy and media production practitioners to teachers of media and communication studies, adaptation studies, disability studies, critical race studies, among others.
These “new directions” in which this collection will travel specifically address recent developments related to medium and genre as well as theoretical approaches. We are seeking diverse global perspectives on the genre from emerging as well as senior scholars in the field.
Chapters (5,000-8,000 words) may explore some of the following topics, including but not limited to:
- National and global/transnational horror film and media (ex. K-Horror, J-Horror, Hindi horror, etc.)
- Horror fandoms
- Innovations in horror production, including film, video games, and other technology
- Horror production/creation by women, people of color, people with disabilities, and the LGBTQIA+ community
- “Serial” horror (television shows such as the Walking Dead Franchise, Lovecraft Country, The Stand, Twilight Zone, American Horror Story; podcast series; web series, etc)
- Subgenres such as slashers, folk horror, found-footage horror, Indigenous horror, ecohorror (including animal, plant, and fungal horror), political horror, urban/suburban gothic, haunted house stories, and dark comedy
- Podcasts – both nonfiction (true crime’s relationship to horror, Kim and Ket Stay Alive…Maybe, Nightmare on Film Street, FriGay the 13th, Let’s Not Meet, Lore) and fiction (Welcome to Night Vale, Nightlight, Limetown, The Black Tapes)
- Interactive horror experiences (VR, Choose Your Own Adventure, etc)
- TikTok videos, memes, and other aspects of social media
- Horror adaptations
- Horror cinephilia
- Cross-genre and horror hybrids
- Horror in public discourse (journalism, political discourse, conspiracy theories)
- Innovative theoretical and methodological approaches to studying horror across film and media
- Teaching horror film, television, video games, comic books and graphic novels, tabletop and RPGs, podcasts, web series, etc.
Submissions are invited to a proposal currently under consideration with Routledge, pending review and approval. 500-word abstracts are due June 1, 2021. Accepted chapters will be due December 20, 2021. Chapter submissions must use MLA citation style and should range in length from 5,000-8,000 words. Please direct any questions relating to this CFP to co-editors Andrea Wood (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Jamie McDaniel (email@example.com).