[UPDATE] Mike Leigh's Politics and Poetics. Anthology. Polished essay due August 15, 2011.
Length/Style: 6,000-8,500 words (including notes), MLA citations.
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, from his early television work to 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 in the summertime. Feel free to send what you have now and give an idea of what the final submission will look like.
Topics may include but are not limited to:
· close-readings of individual Leigh films (especially welcome at this point would be papers on Another Year, Naked, and Secrets and Lies).
· analysis of recurring themes and motifs in several Leigh films
· David Cameron, the British film industry, and the future of Leigh's career.
· Portrayals of the Irish "Troubles" in Four Days in July.
· comparisons of Leigh to other writers and directors and their body of work (ie: other British creators such as Jimmy McGovern, Ken Loach, Joseph Losey, Tony Richardson, Basil Dearden, and Lindsay Anderson, Hollywood directors dealing with similar subjects, etc.)
· 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.
· how Leigh gets these movies funded and made when they are so "not commercial."
· Leigh's political activism (domestic politics, Arab-Israeli conflict, etc.)
· Leigh's theatre work.
· Leigh's "England" compared to EastEnders, Michael Apted's Up Documentaries, etc.
· 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.
Contacts and editors: Bryan Cardinale-Powell and Marc DiPaolo, both Assistant Professors at Oklahoma City University's Department of Moving Image Arts.
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. Ideally, we would like you to contact us with ideas as soon as possible. Final submissions are due August 15, 2011. Please send abstracts and/or final submissions, along with a brief biographical sketch, directly to firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com.