Mike Leigh anthology - "The Fickle Finger of Fate" - (final submissions due 8/15/2011)

full name / name of organization: 
Bryan Cardinale-Powell and Marc DiPaolo, both Assistant Professors at Oklahoma City University’s Department of Moving Image Arts

Subject: This edited collection seeks to publish recent scholarship that examines various aspects of Mike Leigh's life and career as a writer-director by scholars from a variety of disciplines employing a range of critical methodologies. These essays will cover all phases of the BAFTA-award-winning director's career, including his early television work as well as his theatrical films, including Life is Sweet (1990), Naked (1993), Secrets & Lies (1996), Career Girls (1997), Topsy-Turvy (1999), All or Nothing (2002), Vera Drake (2004), Happy-Go-Lucky (2008), and Another Year (2010).

We are interested in receiving abstracts over the next few months, and completed papers that have not yet been published. Please contact both of us with your ideas before beginning significant work on the chapter so we can ensure that the contributors do not duplicate one another's submissions. (For example, we don't want every essay to be close readings of Naked and Secrets and Lies.) Ideally, we would like you to contact us with ideas by January 30, 2011.

Topics may include but are not limited to:

· close-readings of individual Leigh films,

· analysis of recurring themes and motifs in several Leigh films

· comparisons of Leigh to other directors and their body of work (ie: Ozu, other British directors, Hollywood directors dealing with similar subjects)

· how Leigh's films reflect the changing cultural and political landscape of Great Britain.

· representations of politics, class, race, gender, etc. in the Leigh filmography.

· how Leigh's real life informs his work and the extent to which his personality traits (do or don't) find their way into his characters.

· the Leigh "troupe" of actors: their performances and role in shaping the plot and script through improvisational performances.

· the relative (in)accuracy of Leigh's historical "lessons" (i.e.: comparison of the historical Gilbert and Sullivan to their depictions in Topsy-Turvy, or a discussion of Vera Drake informed by the history of British abortion laws).

· how Leigh gets these movies funded and made when they are so "not commercial."

· a survey of Leigh's critical reception, Box Office success, and the existing academic scholarship on his work, as well as his treatment in sophisticated periodicals such as Cineaste.

Final submissions are due August 15, 2011. Please send abstracts and/or final submissions, along with a brief biographical sketch, directly captainblackadder@hotmail.com and cardinale.powell@gmail.com.