Call for Articles: Lost and Othered Children in Contemporary Cinema

full name / name of organization: 
Debbie Olson
contact email: 
debbieo@okstate.edu

Edited Collection: Lost and Othered Children in Contemporary Cinema

Call for contributions to Starlight and Shadows: Images of Lost and Othered Children in Contemporary Cinema. [tentative title]

Seeking original articles for an edited collection about lost and “Othered” children in contemporary cinema (from 1980 to the present). In contrast to traditional portraits of sweetness and light, there is a large body of cinematic works that provide a counter note of darkness to the more common notion of the innocent and pure child. These films depict childhood has as a site of knowingness, despair, sexuality, death, and even madness. Starlight and Shadows explores this filmic imagining of the dark side of childhood.

Lost children are involuntary wanderers who are victimized, exploited, abandoned. Children who are “Othered” are forced to the fringes of childhood, are ostracized, ignored, victims of colonization, or part of Diasporas. These children navigate their way through the world living in the shadow of happy families, in murky or threatening environs, or living a form of placelessness. They must depend on their wits or, in some cases, on otherworldly influences. They negotiate a darkness that negates the Romantic view of childhood innocence. Submissions to Starlight and Shadows can include, but are not limited to, depictions of children negotiating race, gender, class, mental illness, forced migration, superstitions, peer pressure, crime, or other social and material conditions in which the film constructs a child character positioned outside the romantic notion of the child.

Essays that take a child-centric approach, interrogate the idea of the Western romanticized child, or that draw upon multi-disciplinary theoretical frameworks including psychology, film studies, literature, women studies, and queer studies are encouraged. Contributions should be academic in nature and follow MLA documentation.

Proposals are welcome on, but certainly not limited to:

Neil Jordan
• In Dreams
• The Company of Wolves
Lee Daniels
• Precious
• Monsters Ball
Stephen Spielberg
• ET
• Hook
• Jurassic Park
Danny Boyle
• Millions!
• 28 Days
• Slumdog Millionaire
M. Knight Shyamalan
• Unbreakable
• Wide Awake
• Signs
• The Sixth Sense
• The Village
• The Last Airbender
Guillermo Del Toro
• Pan’s Labyrinth
• The Devil’s Backbone
• Hellboy
Stephen Spielberg
• Empire of the Sun
• AI

Contributors should send a 200-500 word abstract, or, if complete, the full essay, a short biography, and complete contact information to Debbie Olson, debbieo@okstate.edu
Deadline for abstracts is August 1, 2010. Full essays are due no later than December 31, 2010.

cfp categories: 
african-american
american
childrens_literature
cultural_studies_and_historical_approaches
ethnicity_and_national_identity
film_and_television
gender_studies_and_sexuality
general_announcements
humanities_computing_and_the_internet
interdisciplinary
journals_and_collections_of_essays
popular_culture
postcolonial
science_and_culture
theory
twentieth_century_and_beyond