New Essays on Charles Beaumont's Literary and Cultural Legacy - abstract deadline Oct 15, 2014

full name / name of organization: 
Sean Moreland (University of Ottawa) and Murray Leeder (University of Manitoba)

The editors invite original scholarly essays that address all facets of the writing of Charles Beaumont (nee Charles McNutt).
Beaumont is today perhaps best remembered for his screenplays for the original Twilight Zone series; however, he was a prolific writer who worked in a wide variety of forms and genres, producing a large and variegated body of writing over the course of his tragically curtailed literary career. Despite Beaumont's attested influence on many more widely known 20th century literary icons (including Harlan Ellison, Richard Matheson and Ray Bradbury) and the impact many of his fictions and screenplays have had on American literary, televisual and cinematic culture, there has thus far been little serious and concerted scholarly attention to his vital body of work. This lack has been decried by many of Beaumont's admirers over the years, and led Bernice M. Murphy, in her introduction to the recently published selection of Beaumont's short fiction, The Hunger and Other Stories, to express the urgent need for "a critical reappraisal of [Beaumont's] literary legacy." This collection will be an important contribution to this task, and will gather a variety of critical approaches together in exploring and evaluating Beaumont's achievements and influence.
The editors seek to round out the collection by gathering scholarly work that draws from various critical paradigms and focuses on diverse aspects of Beaumont's work.
Topics might include, but are not limited to, the following:
- The relationship between Beaumont's literary fictions and his cinematic and televisual writing.
- The novel, screenplay, and film versions of The Intruder, and its engagement with both contemporaneous and current aspects of the civil rights movement in American history.
- Application of contemporary adaptation theory to Beaumont's screen adaptations (both of him, and by him.)
- Beaumont's relationship with weird fiction, his inclusion in the canon of The Weird, and the parallels between his weird fictions and those of his predecessors, contemporaries, and descendants.
- Critical considerations of Beaumont's relationship with his major literary influences, with his literary peers, and with those writers who have been influenced by his work.
- The importance of the literary marketplace to Beaumont's fictions and career.
- Beaumont's aesthetics and literary philosophy.
- The sexual politics of Beaumont's fictions.
- Queer (re)considerations of key Beaumont's work (for example, "The Crooked Man" and "Miss Gentibelle") and the relationship between his fictions and the early stirrings of the gay rights movement.
Abstracts should be 300-400 words in length, should include a brief biographical statement (<150 words), and should be emailed to both and by no later than Oct 15, 2014. Please include "Charles Beaumont Abstract Submission" in your subject line. The editors expect that the length of completed essays should be in the 5000-7000 word range.


Murray Leeder is the author of Halloween (Auteur, 2014) and is currently editing Cinematic Ghosts: Haunting and Spectrality from Silent Cinema to the Digital Era (Bloomsbury, 2015). His articles have appeared in such scholarly collections as Dracula's Daughters: The Female Vampire in Film, The Vampire Goes to College: Essays on Teaching the Undead, Images of the Modern Vampire: The Hip and the Atavistic and Beyond the Screen: Institutions, Networks, and Publics of Early Cinema and such journals as Horror Studies, The Journal of Popular Culture, The Journal of Popular Film and Television, The Canadian Journal of Film Studies, Clues: A Journal of Detection, Popular Music and Society and Early Popular Visual Culture. As of July 2014, he is a research affiliate at the Institute for the Humanities, University of Manitoba.

Sean Moreland's essays have appeared in a number of scholarly collections, including Terrors of the Soul: Essays on Canadian Horror Film, Hitchcock's Children, Deciphering Poe and A History of Evil in American Popular Culture, and his poetry and short fiction has appeared in a variety of venues including The Malahat Review, Lackington's, Despumation, and online at, ditch and Bone Orchard. He co-edited the essay collection Fear and Learning: Essays on the Pedagogy of Horror (McFarland, 2013), is currently co-editing Essays on Cinema's Monstrous Children (McFarland, early 2015) and is editing The Lovecraftian Poe: Essays on Influence, Reception and Transformation. He is founder and a fiction editor of the journal of uncanny fiction and art Postscripts to Darkness ( and he teaches English at the University of Ottawa.