Juvenile Literature (edited volume; 6/15/12 for abstracts)

full name / name of organization: 
Cynthia J. Miller

Final Days to Submit!

Call for Contributors – Juvenile Literature

Undead in the West II: They Just Keep Coming (collected essays)

Deadline for Abstracts – June 15 2012; Accepted Essays – December 1, 2012.

We are seeking proposals for a chapter focused on Juvenile Literature for a scholarly volume on Undead Westerns. While scholars are most familiar with these genre hybrids in their adult- or adolescent-reader forms, a small body of children's literature also exists that combines ghosts, vampires, zombies, and other creatures with themes and tropes generally associated with the Western genre. Among these, Billy the Ghost and Me, Blackfoot Braves Society: Spirit Totems, Secret of the Haunted Mesa, The Weird, Weird West, and even some stories in the Hank the Cowdog series.

A chapter on such juvenile Undead Westerns might focus on a single book, or a given theme or themes across several children's books or stories in this small field. We very much hope to include children's literature in the volume, since one of our goals is to demonstrate the diversity of ways in which zombies, vampires, mummies, and ghosts have lumbered, crept, shambled, and swooped into the Western from other genres. This sub-genre, while largely a post-1990 phenomenon, traces it roots to much deeper hybrid traditions of Westerns and horror or science fiction, and yet, also shows ties to the recent Western renaissance.

This volume, a companion to our forthcoming Undead in the West: Vampires, Zombies, Mummies and Ghosts on the Cinematic Frontier (Scarecrow Press, September 2012), will focus on the blending of the Western genre and the undead in media other than film: comics, graphic novels, gaming, new media, and literature, both adult and juvenile. Scholarly explorations of material culture and fandom will also be considered.

Some questions to consider:

- How do the nature, uses, and reception of the undead shift and change with their intended audience (juveniles vs. adolescents vs. adults)
- How do these narratives function with youthful audiences, in terms of social learning, beliefs in the supernatural, fantasy play, etc..?
- In what ways are these texts referential of other forms and archetypes in juvenile literature?
- How are Western archetypes subverted or accentuated when confronted by the undead?
- How do zombies, vampires, and the like, affect juvenile understandings and interpretations of the West, and vice-versa?
- In what ways do undead Westerns consciously use the undead elements of the plot to comment on the nature of traditional Western heroes and villains?
- In what ways do these genre mash-ups revitalize the Western for a new generation of audiences and fans?

Please send your 500-word abstract to both co-editors, Cindy Miller (cynthia_miller@emerson.edu) and Bow Van Riper (bvanriper@bellsouth.net).

Publication timetable:

June 15, 2012 – Deadline for Abstracts
July 15, 2012 – Notification of Acceptance Decisions
Dec. 1, 2012 – Chapter Drafts Due
March 15, 2013 – Chapter Revisions Due
April 15, 2013 – Final Revisions Due
May 1, 2013 – Delivery to Publisher

Acceptance will be contingent upon the contributors' ability to meet these deadlines, and to deliver professional-quality work.