It's a Mad World: The Work of Terry Gilliam [update] 10/15/09

full name / name of organization: 
Anna Froula
contact email: 

We seek essays of 4,000 to 8,000 words for an anthology that explores the work of writer-actor-director-comedian Terry Gilliam. For decades Gilliam has been a leading film auteur, both a comic and a social critic, and a historical, critical survey of his work is needed. While he has never wholly departed from his Monty Python roots, he has forged his own distinct vision. Gilliam cinematically creates worlds that are AT once familiar AND unwelcome. He triumphs the mundane and the absurd. His anachronistic and off-kilter vision consistently throws off our ability to find a stable or common foundation on which to ground our approach to his films.

This collection of transnational, globalized Gilliam studies envisions understanding the intersection of our world and Gilliam's in new cultural, historical, spatial, and epistemological frameworks: How does cultural production of a globalized world, where everything is at once local and international, fantasize a nostalgic return to a monomythic state of order and symmetry even as it dehistoricizes the globally industrialized military apparatus and competing ideologies of individuality versus groupthink? How do Gilliam's (semi-) popular narratives construct "England" and "America" in the context of a globalized, dehumanizing, suffocating, and endless movement of goods and services across international boundaries? How do his films reconfigure spatial proximities of the United States, Great Britain and the rest of the world? How do popular culture and globalized business in their myriad forms mediate support for and/or dissent from the current global situation?

We need a few more essays to complete this collection and especially welcome submissions that focus on surrealism, politics, aesthetics, absurdism, fantasy, or "Gilliamesque" influences on animation, etc., and The Life of Brian, Do Not Adjust Your Set, Flying Circus, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, The Meaning of Life, and The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus.

Possible topics include but are not limited to:
• Monty Python and Film
• Monty Python and Television
• Gilliam the Actor
• Gilliam's illustration/animation, from Mad Magazine to his television shows and filmography
• Commercial advertisements
• Auteur style

250-350 word abstracts, CV by October 15, 2009 to:

Jeff Birkenstein, Ph.D.
Saint Martin's University
5300 Pacific Avenue SE
Lacey, WA 98503 / USA