ReFocus: The Films of Paul Schrader

deadline for submissions: 
September 30, 2018
full name / name of organization: 
University of Edinburgh Press
contact email: 

ReFocus: The Films of Paul Schrader

Filmmaker Paul Schrader is best known as the screenwriter of Taxi Driver (1976, Dir. Martin Scorsese) a film that already stands as a major part of cinematic history – in an interview with The Guardian in 2016, he quipped that a reference to that film is destined to be “the first line of my obituary.” This volume of the ReFocus series will be the first comprehensive study on Paul Schrader and provides an unconventional approach to an unconventional auteur who wore multiple authorial hats – director, screenwriter, and film critic. As the writer/director of Hardcore (1979), the writer of The Mosquito Coast (1986, Dir. Peter Weir), the director of The Comfort of Strangers (1990), and lifelong film critic and theorist, Schrader’s long and multifaceted career deserves additional attention.

We are seeking abstracts of 250-500 words for essays to be included in a book-length anthology on Paul Schrader to appear in 2020. The intended scope of the work is to analyze Schrader’s contributions to cinematic history in three key ways: his direction, his screenwriting, and his criticism. The project also places those efforts in their historical context, especially as the figures of the New Hollywood period have aged. In addition, the analysis of Schrader’s multivariate roles opens up discussions about the auteur approach to film studies in new and exciting ways, entering into the long critical conversation about the viability of that theoretical framework.

Possible areas of inquiry could include: Schrader’s films as writer/director; Schrader and film criticism; Schrader and transcendence/transcendental style; Schrader and Bresson; Schrader and Ozu; Schrader and Dreyer; Schrader and Ford; Schrader and noir; Schrader and Scorsese; Schrader and Willem Dafoe; Schrader as director of other writers’ screenplays; Schrader as screenwriter for other directors; Schrader’s conflicts with studios/producers over final cut; Schrader and authorship. Areas outside of those listed here may also be welcome.

Essays included in the refereed anthology will be of approximately 5,000 to 8,000 words, referenced in Chicago endnote style. 

The Films of Paul Schrader will be one of the scholarly editions to be published by the University of Edinburgh Press in a new series of anthologies examining overlooked American film directors. Series editors are Robert Singer, Ph.D. and Gary D. Rhodes, Ph.D.

Please attach a curriculum vitae to your abstract and email them directly to the anthology’s editors by September 30, 2018:

Brian Brems

Assistant Professor, English

College of DuPage

bremsb@cod.edu

Michelle Moore

Professor, English

College of DuPage

moorem@cod.edu