CFP: American Horror Film Today (6/1/07; collection)

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Call for Papers: American Horror Film Today

Most film histories consider Wes Craven's Scream (1996) as either a high-point of American horror cinema, or as a turning-point that marked the steady decline of the genre. Compared to the celebrated "Golden Ages" of American horror cinema?from the "classic" Universal films in the 1930s, to auteurist neo-horror in the 1970s?horror films from the mid-1990s to today seem to be out of ideas, short on political relevance, and incapable of producing texts that promise longevity. Fans of the genre have lamented this slump. Reviewers tend to dismiss recent productions. And scholars have either returned to canonical American horror films or directed their attention toward international cinema.

As a result of this general tone of dismissal, contemporary American horror film has become a field dominated by prejudice and polemic. In journals and anthologies, scholars have begun the work of assessing American horror films of the last ten years. But even the best of these efforts have, so far, remained unsystematic and scattered. They are pieces of a larger, more comprehensive critical project that remain to be integrated.

As a contribution to this larger project, this collection of critical essays sets out to offer an assessment of American horror cinema over the last ten years by providing close readings of individual films, as well as discussions of larger issues in American horror cinema.

Possible topics include, but are not limited to:

- New Approaches to Contemporary Horror Films (new critical methodologies, revisionist readings)
- Critical Discussions of Overlooked or Underappreciated Films
- Horror Film Directors: The New Auteurs (Alexandre Aja, Eli Roth, Rob Zombie, etc.)
- Horror Film Directors: Established Auteurs, Late in their Careers (John Carpenter, Wes Craven, etc.)
- Recent Horror Film Cycles and Franchises (e.g. torture films like the Saw and the Hostel films, the Ring films, Dark Castle Films, the Scary Movie series, etc.)
- Studio Histories, Distribution Practices (Dimension, Lions Gate, After Dark, etc.)
- Critical Approaches to the Remake (remaking American horror films, remaking horror films from all over the world)
- Critical Analyses of Genre Histories and Genre Criticism in Academic, Journalistic, and Fan Discourse
- Critical Approaches to the Material Culture of Horror Film (marketing, special effects, new technologies, etc.)

Suggestions for additional topics are encouraged.

By June 1, 2007, please submit abstracts or essays to: Steffen Hantke, Dept. of English, Sogang University, CPO Box 1142, Seoul 100-611, South Korea. For all inquiries, please use email:

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Received on Wed May 02 2007 - 14:54:34 EDT