Call for chapters on The Fast and the Furious films

deadline for submissions: 
October 15, 2019
full name / name of organization: 
Dr Joshua Gulam, Liverpool Hope University
contact email: 

Editors - Dr Joshua Gulam (Liverpool Hope University), Dr Sarah Feinstein (University of Leeds), and Dr Fraser Elliott (University of Salford)

We are seeking chapter proposals for an edited collection on the culture, commerce, and ideology of The Fast and the Furious films.

With its ninth instalment set to arrive in cinemas this summer, and two more films slated for release by 2021, The Fast and the Furious is one of the most popular and prolific movie franchises of the twenty-first century. Indeed, the eight films in the series to date have earned a combined total of $5.1 billion at the box office, placing it ninth in the list of the highest-grossing movie franchises of all time. However, despite its immense commercial success, little has been written about The Fast and the Furious from an academic perspective (exceptions include Beltrán 2005, 2013). This lack of scholarly attention is surprising given just how representative the series is of recent cinematic trends. Few franchises better capture the excesses of the contemporary action genre than The Fast and the Furious, for example, with its outrageous set pieces, growing cast of global megastars, and increasing reliance on overseas markets. 

When Universal released the first film in the series in 2001 - a mid-budget crime/action movie featuring a relatively unknown cast of actors - few could have predicted just how big the brand would become, to the point where The Fast and the Furious now has its own theme park ride, live stage show, and animated TV programme. Often dismissed as 'dumb' or 'mindless' entertainment by critics, this collection will argue that The Fast and the Furious warrants serious attention for more than just its longevity; and that close scrutiny of the series provides a valuable platform for exploring key forces and currents within the contemporary film industry: from franchise culture and global box office trends, to crossover stardom and debates around on- and off-screen diversity. 

This collection would be the first book to offer an in-depth critical analysis of The Fast and the Furious, bringing together a range of scholars to explore not only the style and themes of the franchise, but also its broader cultural impact and industry legacy. As such, we envision that the book would serve as a valuable introduction for film scholars, students, and fans alike. 

The book will be interdisciplinary in scope and we are open to chapters from a variety of theoretical or methodological approaches. Possible topics include but are not limited to:

  • The evolution of the franchise, including changes in style, themes, and personnel across the nine films

  • The role and importance of racial, national, class, and gender identity within the films 

  • Stardom and performance in the franchise (e.g., chapters on Vin Diesel, Michelle Rodriguez, Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson, Paul Walker, Jason Statham, and others) 

  • Fandom and reception (of individual films in the series, the franchise as a whole, or particular members of the cast and crew) 

  • The Fast and the Furious as action cinema (e.g., car stunts, fight sequences, the use of CGI, and crossover with other genres such as the heist and spy films)

  • The Fast and the Furious as business and brand, including analysis of its budgeting, marketing, and distribution in North America and overseas

  • Spinoffs and adaptations (e.g., Hobbs & Shaw (2019), the Universal Studios theme park ride, Fast & Furious Live, the Netflix TV show, and associated video games)

 

Bloomsbury have expressed an interest in the collection, and, once the abstracts are collected, a formal proposal will be submitted to the publisher in November 2019.   

Please send 300-word abstracts and a short biography, or direct any enquiries, to FuriousBook@gmail.com by 15th October 2019. Notifications of acceptance will be sent no later than 30th October 2019. Chapters of 6,000 words will be due by 30th July 2020.