LOST Multicontributor Collection

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Randy Laist
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"Lost" Multicontributor Collection

One of the most remarkable television series in recent years has been ABC's "Lost." Beginning with an archetypal premise of castaways stranded on an island, the show has evolved into a complex network of obscure connections, esoteric mysteries, literary and pop cultural allusions, and baroque experiments in narrative temporality. The defining feature of the show is its atmosphere of radical suggestibility; the narrative and thematic strands of the story continually run away into hyper-interpretability in a way that invites not only the kind of internet speculation which has flourished around the show, but also the application of more theoretically informed critical examination.

"Lost" has drawn considerable interest from academic circles and has already been the subject of a Blackwell "Lost and Philosophy" volume and a new release from IB Tauris titled "Reading Lost." A major limitation of these texts is that they are out of date by the time they hit the shelves. The most conspicuous feature of "Lost" is its persistently evolving plot, which is continually rewriting itself. In the season that is currently unfolding in March of 2009, the characters are actually going back in time to redefine, if not completely change, what has already happened in the narrative of the show. Print media are poorly equipped to compete with this kind of rapid-fire revisionism.

Unlike most television shows, however, "Lost" is writing toward a conclusion that it has scheduled in advance to arrive in May of 2010. The volume we are compiling for McFarland looks at a publication date around or shortly after that time, to coincide with the finale of the show. This timing not only allows the contributing authors to articulate readings of the show which acknowledge the entire arc of its narrative, but also takes advantage of the public and academic interest which will likely be at its height immediately following the conclusion of the program.

Of particular interest are proposals which consider "Lost" within the background of emerging 21st Century concerns such as:
globalization and its discontents
torture and terrorism
ecological consciousness
postapocalypticism and posthumanism
magic and technoscience
postcolonial territorialities
tribalism and multiculturalism
intertextuality and self-referentiality
"the state of nature" in the postnatural world
the ontological dynamics of communications media
field-based models of signification and narrative.

Send 250-300-word abstracts to Randy Laist, University of Connecticut, rlaist2000@yahoo.com
Please include with your abstract: your name, affiliation, and postal address.
Deadline: April 30, 2009