ReFocus: The Films of Delmar Daves

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Edinburgh University Press


ReFocus: The Films of Delmar Daves

From Destination Tokyo (1943) to Youngblood Hawke (1964), among many other titles, few filmmakers created as unique a body of work in the United States as Delmar Daves (1904-1977), but few filmmakers have been as critically overlooked in existing scholarly literature. Daves is often regarded as an embodiment of the self-effacing craftsmanship of classical and post-War Hollywood, which helps explain his relative neglect by film critics and scholars. In the words of Kent Jones, in an essay for the recent Criterion Collection release of 3:10 to Yuma (1957), Daves was a "casualty of auteurism."

We are currently soliciting abstracts of approximately 100 words for essays to be included in a book-length anthology on Delmar Daves to appear in 2015. As the first comprehensive study of Daves's career, this collection seeks to deepen our understanding of the filmmaker and problematize existing conceptions of him as a competent but conventional, even naïve, studio man. Essays may focus on individual films or on themes and topics that pervade his work.

Possible areas of inquiry could include: Daves's remarkable string of Westerns in the 1950s, from Broken Arrow (1950) to The Hanging Tree (1959), and his status as the odd man out of the pantheon of great Western moviemakers (Ford, Mann, Peckinpah et al); his work in other genres, in films like Hollywood Canteen (1944), Demetrius and the Gladiators (1954) and A Summer Place (1959); and his work as screenwriter and producer of many of his films.

Essays included in the refereed anthology will be of approximately 5,000 to 8,000 words, referenced in Chicago endnote style.

The Films of Delmar Daves will be one of the scholarly editions to be published by the University of Edinburgh Press in a new series of anthologies examining overlooked American film directors. Series editors are Robert Singer, Ph.D. and Gary D. Rhodes, Ph.D.

Please attach a curriculum vitae to your abstract and email them directly to the anthology's editors by December 15, 2013:

Matthew Carter, PhD
Department of Literature, Film and Theatre Studies
University of Essex

Andrew Patrick Nelson, PhD
School of Film & Photography
Montana State University