CALL FOR CHAPTER PROPOSALS The Evolution of Pulp Fiction: America and Beyond (Essay Collection)

full name / name of organization: 
Justin Everett and Toni Johnson-Woods
contact email: 

Though there is a long-standing tradition of amateur scholarship on the pulp magazines and their history, to date there has been very little professional academic scholarship. In recent years, however, there has been increasing interest in the academic community for scholarship on pulp magazines and their relationship to the "literary canon." The scholarship that has appeared to date has focused primarily upon either detective fiction or science fiction, but little critical attention has been given to the broader spectrum of pulp magazines, which include adventure, western, romance, and many other areas. In Re-Covering Modernism: Pulps Paperbacks and the Prejudice of Form, published by Ashgate (2009), David M. Earle argued that the time has come to study the pulp form for its significant contribution to modernism (74). Other works focusing on the pulp tradition have included Erin Smith, Hard Boiled: Working Class Readers and Pulp Magazines (2000) and John Cheng's Astounding Wonder: Imagining Science and Science Fiction in Interwar America (2012). In spite of this recent scholarship, a general introduction to the pulp tradition for the academic community has yet to be written.

Focus and Scope
The Pulp Studies Area of the Popular Culture Association has defined pulp magazines as follows:
Pulp magazines were a series of mostly English-language, predominantly American, magazines printed on rough pulp paper. They were often illustrated with highly stylized, full-page cover art and numerous line art illustrations of the fictional content. They were sold for modest sums, and were targeted at (sometimes specialized) readerships of popular literature, such as western and adventure, detective, fantastic (including the evolving genres of science fiction, fantasy, and horror), romance and sports fiction. The first pulp Argosy, began life as the children's magazine The Golden Argosy, dated Dec 2, 1882 and the last of the "original" pulps was Ranch Romances and Adventures, Nov 1971.
We intend to offer a collection of essays from a wide range of scholars studying the pulp magazine tradition(s) in order to provide the academic community with a broad understanding of the genres, authors, editors, artists, publishers, and readers who made up the pulp tradition between 1882 and 1971.

We invite chapter proposals, which may include any of the following:

• Origins of pulp magazines from the dime novel and other sources
• Definitions of "pulps," "slicks," and "literary" stories
• Treatments of specific pulp genres (western, detective, fantastic, sport, romance, spicy, humor, and so on)
• Discussions of influential magazines, publishers, and editors
• Contemporary discussions of the pulps and their impact on mass culture
• Importance of the pulps to working-class readers
• Class bias and criticism of the pulps
• The importance of the newsstand as a means of distribution
• Racism and eugenics in the pulps
• Feminism and the pulps
• The pulps as forms of popular rhetoric
• Pulp artists, cover art, and internal illustrations
• Advertising in the pulps
• The decline and demise of the pulps after 1950
• Pulp adaptations and reinventions on television, film, in video games and online.
• The pulps and fan studies
• Pulp magazines outside of America: Canada, Britain, Australia, and beyond

These are but suggestions for potential topics. Others topics are welcome. Please submit proposal abstracts of approximately 200 words along with a copy of your C.V. to the editors at the following email addresses:

Justin Everett
University of the Sciences

Toni Johnson-Woods
Editor, Australasian Journal of Popular Culture

Due date for chapter proposals: March 1, 2013