Proposed Essay Collection – From King of the Jungle to Cultural Icon: Tarzan at 100

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Edited by Michelle Ann Abate and Annette Wannamaker

From King of the Jungle to Cultural Icon will be an interdisciplinary essay collection marking the 100th anniversary of Tarzan of the Apes. Since its debut in serial format in 1912, Edgar Rice Burroughs' narrative about an orphaned white boy being raised by a band of black apes in the African jungle has become a transnational literary classic, frequent cinematic, film and comic book icon and powerful—as well as problematic—cultural archetype. This collection will allow critics from a wide range of disciples to explore the past place, present status and future importance of Tarzan in popular print, visual and material culture.

Possible topics include but are not limited to:
• Tarzan and (de)construction of gender, boyhood, masculinity and sexuality
• Homosocial and/or homoerotic readings of Tarzan
• Primitivism, race, and colonialism in Tarzan
• Tarzan in popular print and visual media: comic books, graphic novels and video games as well as cinematic, theatrical and television adaptations of the Tarzan story
• Tarzan as convergence culture
• Tarzan on the Internet
• Tarzan and/as children's literature
• the life of William Charles Mildin, the supposed factual model for Burroughs' fictional character
• the Disneyfication of Tarzan
• Tarzan and the origins, history and evolution of the "boys' book"
• Tarzana, California
• Changing visual representations of Tarzan
• Tarzan and the feral boy story, both past and present
• the presence of Tarzan in non-Western literatures and cultures
• Tarzan Clubs, fan culture, and "the cult of Tarzan"
• Johnny Wëissmuller as the popular face of Tarzan
• Tarzan's influence on other texts, parodies of Tarzan, and allusions to Tarzan
• Tarzan as myth and icon
• Tarzan and British identity, nationalism and culture; Tarzan and American identity, nationalism and culture

Proposals should be 1 – 2 pages in length (roughly 250 - 500 words). Please send abstracts plus a CV electronically as Microsoft Word attachments to Michelle Ann Abate at or Annette Wannamaker at

The author's name, email and postal address should appear in the message that accompanies the submission.

Proposals should conform to the Modern Language Association bibliographic style. See the MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers, 7th ed., for procedures regarding in-text citations and Works Cited.

Deadline: November 1st, 2009