CFP: Interdisciplinary Essays on the Apotropaic (2/15/06; collection)

full name / name of organization: 
Gregory Marks
contact email: 

Call for Essays


Seeking essays for an interdisciplinary collection tentatively titled “The Shield of Perseus: Essays on the Apotropaic.”


The apotropaic (Gr., “to turn away from”) constitutes a class of rituals intended to ward off evil. Jane Ellen Harrison investigated their presence in ancient Greek religion, but the term has wide application in the humanities. The apotropaic often uses the horrible to repel the horrible (e.g., the evil eye, the head of Medusa); thinkers as diverse as Freud, Paglia, Derrida, and Spivak have found it a topic worthy of comment.


Insightful, original essays in the humanities, arts, history, anthropology, etc., are sought to be included in this collection. Submissions should be well-writtenâ€"historically and theoretically informed, but clearly argued and free of jargon. Topics might include, but are by no means limited to:


Apotropaic gestures in literature and the arts

Apotropaic prayers

The metaphysics of the apotropaic

Apotropaic responses to historical calamity

The apotropaics of suffering


A nationally known critic/scholar has agreed write the foreword. I already have a strong expression of interest from a university press, and commitments from scholars in architecture, religion, and literature.


Send abstracts and inquiries to <> . 250-word abstracts, sent as Word attachments, are due by 2/15/2006; complete essays of 4000-5000 words will be due by 8/15/2006.

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Received on Wed Dec 21 2005 - 14:03:52 EST