Reminder: Special Dossier on FARGO (FX, 2014-) in MIDDLE WEST REVIEW
CALL FOR PAPERS:
Special Dossier on FARGO (FX, 2014-) in MIDDLE WEST REVIEW
Middle West Review is an interdisciplinary, peer-reviewed journal that is devoted to the scholarly study of the Midwest. The journal is published biannually by the University of Nebraska Press. One component of MWR’s cross-disciplinary examination of the Midwest involves analyzing how the region has been – and is currently – represented in film, television, and other media texts. To further advance critical understandings of the Midwest in popular culture, MWR is seeking proposals for a special dossier on the television series, Fargo (FX, 2014-). Each of the essays that comprise the dossier will feature a clear, relatively narrow focus that may be covered within 2,000-3,000 words.
Although plans for a fourth season remain uncertain, the existing seasons of Fargo provide a sustained commentary on the Midwest that speaks to a renewed interest in regional spaces within the twenty-first century. Accordingly, this special dossier will address how the first three seasons of Fargo engage with issues of midwestern identity. Collectively, the essays within the dossier will illuminate the complex ways in which the Fargo television series reveals cultural attitudes about – as well as aesthetic strategies for representing – a region widely perceived as a blank, nondescript realm.
Potential paper topics include (but are not limited to):
- Aesthetic analyses: how is the Midwest visualized onscreen? What aspects of the mise-en-scène denote the Midwest and/or establish an aesthetic of “midwestern-ness?”
- Fargo’s treatment of race, gender, and/or sexuality in the Midwest.
- Questions of adaptation, including studies of the direct narrative connections to the original film Fargo (dirs. Joel and Ethan Coen, 1996), ways in which the series expands upon the film’s mythology of place, and so on.
- Analyses of individual episodes or seasons, as well as regional dynamics that recur across the duration of the series.
- Analyses of particular characters in relation to midwestern identity and/or regional stereotypes.
- Issues of regionalism and temporality: each season is set in the past (ranging from a few years to multiple decades). How does this aspect of the series’ narrative content comment on the temporality of the Midwest?
- Relationships between violence (and/or crime narratives) and midwestern identity.
- Surveying critical and popular responses to the series.
- How dialect, dialogue, costumes, and/or other elements of performance denote midwestern-ness (or reflect midwestern stereotypes).
- Comparative studies of Fargo’s treatment of the Midwest in relation to that of earlier or concurrent television series set in the Midwest.
Proposals of roughly 300 words (along with your affiliation and brief biographical information) are due by February 12, 2018. All proposals and questions should be sent to:
Dr. Adam Ochonicky, Media Review Editor
After proposals have been evaluated for inclusion in the dossier, the selected contributors will be asked to submit full-length essays of 2,000-3,000 words. The dossier on Fargo will appear in either the fall 2018 issue or spring 2019 issue of MWR.