Call for Essays: Not a Fit Place: Essays on The Haunting of Hill House

deadline for submissions: 
December 15, 2018
full name / name of organization: 
Kevin Wetmore
contact email: 

Call for Essays: Not a Fit Place: Essays on The Haunting of Hill House


I am looking for proposals for chapters for an academic book on the Netflix series The Haunting of Hill House to be published by McFarland & Company.


While the existence of shows such as American Horror Story, Preacher, The Walking Dead, Supernatural, Stranger Things, The Terror, Castle Rock, The Strain and Penny Dreadful gives the impression we are living in a golden age of horror television, The Haunting of Hill House on Netflix seems to be a game-changer that takes small-screen dread to a new height. Less than a month in release, the series has garnered a great deal of praise and media discussion. Stephen King called it “nearly perfect” and “close to a work of genius,” Nerdist posted an article entitled “Why You Should Watch The Haunting of Hill House,” the show has 100% on Rotten Tomatoes, was praised in GQ as “the first great horror TV show,” and in Forbes as “perfect for Halloween.” Critical reaction has been mostly glowing, albeit with some very obvious critiques of the series (see, for example, Holly Green’s “How Netflix’s The Haunting of Hill House Betrays Shirley Jackson,” which found the series “egregious and disrespectful.”) The show thus is controversial (especially its ending and its approach to its source material) and yet is also highly regarded as effective horror television.


Not a Fit Place: Essays on The Haunting of Hill House proposes to explore and analyze the series from a variety of critical perspectives. The individual essays will be 4000-6000 words each. Successful proposals will explore an aspect of The Haunting in a unique manner and offers something to say that illuminates the series beyond opinion-as-analysis. Given the nature of the project and the desire to have the volume out before Halloween 2019, we have an accelerated project timeline.


The Deadlines:

I will accept abstracts on a rolling basis up until December 15, 2018. Those whose abstracts are accepted will be sent the style guide and information regarding the preparation of manuscripts.

Contributors must submit the first draft of their essays to me by April 15, 2019. I plan to have the final, full manuscript to McFarland by June 15, 2019, so we will have two months for edits and further development of essays.

Please note, no extensions can be given once accepted, so please only submit abstracts if you are certain you can adhere to this timetable. The deadline for manuscript submission is set, so the expectation is that final essays will be in by the above dates.

I am looking for essays on any other topic relating to the volume’s theme. Possible topics include but are not limited to:

  • The relationship between novel and series.
  • Jackson’s themes and motifs as adapted (or betrayed) by the series
  • A comparison and contrasting of the Netflix series with previous film versions (1963, 1999).
  • Contextualizing The Haunting of Hill House in director Mike Flanagan’s body of work.
  • Other haunted house narratives on screen and HoHH (Legend of Hell House, Rose Red, The Changeling, The Conjuring, etc.).
  • “Hauntings” as metaphor for trauma, addiction, infidelity and mental illness in the series.
  • The shaping influence of Stephen King on the Netflix series.
  • “Hidden Ghosts” – the presence of figures in the background and what they do for the series.
  • Methodological critiques of the show: feminist, economic, ecocritical, queer, etc.
  • Time and structure in HoHH.
  • Marriage in HoHH
  • The Haunting of Hill House and This Is Us as diachronic narrative of family.
  • HoHH and Westworld (or other show) as non-linear narrative.
  • Revelations and Endings: HoHH as apocalyptic narrative.

Please submit 250-500 word abstracts with a brief bio to: by December 15, 2018.