Just a few days left to submit your abstracts ...
Call for Contributors (2/7/2020 Abstracts; 8/15/2020 Essays)
Journeys into Terror
Adventure! Danger! Romance! Explorers, adventurers, and travelers have
captured popular imagination since ancient times. Their encounters with the
exotic and unknown are the stuff of legends, as they journey over the next
ridge, far across the ocean, or outward to the stars.
Those who journey leave behind the safety and certainty of the familiar,
placing themselves in the company of strangers—or in solitude—and rendering
themselves vulnerable, in order to experience the new and unexpected. But
sometimes, journeys go horribly wrong, and the traveler stumbles into a
nightmare world filled with unexpected dangers that they barely understand
and have few resources to combat.
Stories of such journeys into terror have a long and rich history that
stretches from folktales to contemporary media narratives, and for more
than a century, film—with its ability to bring our shared nightmares to
vivid life—has provided a particularly fertile ground for conveying these
This collection seeks essays on films whose characters’ journeys into the
unknown bring them face-to-face with terror. It will explore the ways in
which these texts reflect—and shape—our ambivalent attitudes toward travel,
exploration, the strange, and the unfamiliar: presenting them as sources of
excitement and fulfillment, but also of mortal danger. It will also pose
new questions about “geographies of evil,” and the constant and shifting
terrain of fear, as our notions of “terrible places” and their inhabitants
change over time.
The collection will be divided into three sections designed to explore
distinct types of stories about terrible journeys. The films listed under
each theme are intended to be suggestions, not limits.
Off the Edge of the Map: Films about journeys into exotic, uncharted areas
and where the horrors are far greater than imagined (Cannibal Holocaust,
Apollo 18, The Creature from the Black Lagoon, Apocalypse Now)
Highways to Hell: Films about travelers who embark on what they imagine
will be routine journeys, but find themselves in dark and terrifying places
(The Hills Have Eyes, Alien, Children of the Corn, The Hitcher, Dead End)
Postcards from the Edge: Films about travelers going to what they imagine
will be places of relaxation and restoration, but finding terror instead
(Midsommar, Cabin in the Woods, Chernobyl Diaries, The Shallows, Hostel)
While genre horror is a ready vehicle for these images, proposals looking
at films from other genres, such as suspense, science fiction, and genre
hybrids or mash-ups are also very welcome.
We seek proposals for intelligent, accessible chapters—rigorous scholarship
and innovative ideas expressed in clear, vigorous, jargon-free prose—that
examine and critically analyze the relationship between travel and horror
as it is portrayed in the horror genre across a range of films and eras.
Proposals for both topical essays and close readings of a single text are
welcome. Proposals on films produced outside the US are very welcome.
Previously unpublished work only, please.
Please send your 500-word abstract to both co-editors, Cindy Miller (
[log in to unmask]) and Bow Van Riper ([log in to unmask]).
07 Feb - Abstracts Due
15 Feb - Decisions Announced
15 Aug - First Drafts Due
01 Nov - First Revisions Back
02 Jan 2021 - Second Drafts Due
30 Jan - Second Revisions [if needed] Back
15 Feb - Final Drafts Due
15 Mar - Manuscript Submission (for fall 2021 publication)
Online resources for film/TV studies may be found at ScreenSite