CFP: Book Collection: Health and (Dis)Ability in Whedon's TV Worlds - Sept 15, 2010

full name / name of organization: 
Tamy Burnett & AmiJo Comeford
contact email:

CFP: Book collection: Health, Illness, & (Dis)Ability in the Works of Joss Whedon

Editors: Tamy Burnett and AmiJo Comeford

Description: We are currently accepting proposals for a collection tentatively titled Blood, Body, and Soul: Health and (Dis)Ability in Joss Whedon’s TV Worlds. We are interested in the ways in which Whedon and his creative teams construct and utilize health and wellness—physical, mental, and emotional/psychological—and, conversely, illness, injury, and (dis)ability. Within the wide-ranging and prolific field of Whedon studies, the vast majority of scholarship to date has ignored the physical body in favor of more philosophical questions of identity and being. However, given the heavy action component to Whedon’s shows (which frequently results—or should result—in injury), the often (techno)magical accelerated healing that characters enjoy, and Hollywood standards of beauty/wellness that contribute to de-emphasizing or miraculously “fixing” imperfect bodies, we believe there is a wealth of untapped critical exploration to be made.

Topics: Proposals may focus on any of Whedon’s primarily televisual works—Buffy, Angel, Firefly/Serenity, Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog, and/or Dollhouse—though they may also incorporate other media forms (like comics) as appropriate. We are interested in any and all topics related to representations of physical, mental, or emotional/psychological health, illness, or (dis)ability.

Possible topics include:

• Abuse
• Death
• Demonic/undead bodies
• Disease
• Doctors/healers/caretakers
• Emotional health
• Injury
• Magically or technologically manufactured/manipulated bodies
• The medical field
• Medicine/treatment
• Mental illness
• Mutilation/disfigurement
• Prosthetics
• Recovery from or response to illness/injury
• Scarring/healing
• Self-harm
• Sickness
• The relationship between the physical body and mental/emotional health
• Trauma
• The visual body in Hollywood and/or action-adventure/sci fi/fantasy/horror/etc. genres

Timeline: Proposals due: September 15, 2010. Proposals should:
• Be approx. 300-500 words
• Include name, affiliation, and contact information
• Be submitted as Microsoft Word (.doc or .docx) or rich text file (.rtf) attachment
• Be submitted to both and simultaneously

We will respond to proposals by the end of October; essays of 6,000-7,000 words in MLA format will be due April 1, 2011.

Contact Information: Please send proposals and questions to: Tamy Burnett ( and AmiJo Comeford (

cfp categories: