Call for Chapters: "Grindhouse: Transcultural Exchange on 42nd Street, and Beyond"

full name / name of organization: 
Austin Fisher, University of Bedfordshire
contact email: 

Call for Chapters for an Edited Collection: Grindhouse: Transcultural Exchange on 42nd Street, and Beyond

Editors: Austin Fisher and Johnny Walker

To walk along New York's 42nd Street was, from the 1960s to the 1980s, to undergo a kaleidoscopic encounter with an array of international film genres. In this the golden age of the "grindhouse" movie theatre, disparate cinematic cultures rubbed shoulders on the same bills. Long since celebrated as a melting pot of "cult" cinema, this distribution model would nevertheless be the cradle for some of the most culturally visible of contemporary filmic sensibilities. This book looks beneath the lurid marquees to tell the myriad stories at the heart of this transcultural process and, by examining these genres in turn, illuminates them in their national, historical and cultural contexts. By contextualising commonplace notions of a sleazy underbelly of drug pushers and peep-shows, it locates the American grindhouse as a site of cultural blending, in which audiences actively consumed and took possession of these diverse genres.

The volume's methodological emphasis will be on detailed historical, cultural and political specificity throughout: firstly, to offer close contextual readings of the emergence and lifespan of a number of disparate genres in their own places of origin; and secondly, through a focus on patterns of distribution and consumption that have subsequently contributed to these genres' cultural legacy. The tension between specialised contextual knowledge on the one hand, and recognition of the unstable nature of local identities on the other will be interrogated, negotiated and bridged. The intention is not therefore to position the USA as an inevitable hub of cinematic consumption. Rather, it is to look with historically-informed nuance at a cultural moment during which these genres found themselves being consumed side-by-side, through detailed explorations of the cultural-political tentacles that led to, and emanated from, this confluence.

Topics that will likely provide the volume with its key case studies include, but are not limited to:

1. Grindhouse genres: from pornography to Italian westerns to Blaxploitation to Chambara to Ozploitation (and beyond).
2. An American porn actor in Italy: Grindhouse "stars", past and present.
3. From "Vincent Dawn" to "Clifford Brown": Non-US directors and their Americanised personas.
4. Django, Django and Django: Repackaging and retitling.
5. Grindhouse audience studies.
6. Grindhouse theatres.
7. From directors to distribution: the continued influence of grindhouse on international film and film culture.

A variety of approaches are encouraged, with likely chapters covering genres' forebears, lifespans or legacies, conception, production, distribution or consumption.

Abstracts of 300 words should be sent to AND , accompanied by a short author biography detailing publications and/or research interests and institutional affiliation, by Friday 20th September 2013.