Eastsploitation: Eastern Europe and the Cinematic Lowbrow

deadline for submissions: 
July 31, 2016
full name / name of organization: 
Richard Nowell & Jindriska Blahova, Charles University in Prague

Call for Papers


Eastsploitation: Eastern Europe and the Cinematic Lowbrow


Edited by Jindriska Blahova and Richard Nowell



Despite a welcome recent upsurge of academic interest in global exploitation cinema, the historical relationships between lowbrow cinema - however stakeholders might be defining it as such - and Eastern Europe remain at best sketchily historicized and theorized. On the one hand, analyses of this region's cinema have tended to prioritize critically applauded middlebrow fare or to elevate its genre movies by stressing their purported social, psychological, political dimensions or their aesthetic sophistication. On the other hand, consideration of international flows of exploitation has understandably emphasized the output of preeminent centers of production and circulation, especially those of North America, Western European, and South-East Asia. Yet, as essential as these contributions are - and will continue to be - it also needs stressing that other territories such as Eastern Europe represent important nodes in the global circulation of perceived lowbrow cinema, whether as production centers, reception cultures, or as sources of subject matter for filmmakers based both inside and outside of this region. Accordingly, Eastsploitation aims to broaden understandings of this dynamic yet poorly understood aspect of cultural history through a range of original scholarship examining the multivalent intersections of Eastern Europe and the cinematic lowbrow.


The editors of this proposed collection of essays therefore invite expressions of interest on topics including but by no means limited to:



  • Producing lowbrow fare in or with Eastern European nations
  • Lowbrow under or after Communism
  • Distributing (and marketing) lowbrow cinema in Eastern Europe
  • Lowbrow imports in Eastern Europe
  • Exhibition and delivery of lowbrow in Eastern Europe
  • Popular or critical reception of lowbrow cinema in Eastern Europe
  • Images of Eastern Europe(ans) in Eastern European-made lowbrow
  • Eastern Europe(ans) in non-East European-made lowbrow
  • Creative Personnel and Eastern European lowbrow cinema
  • International distribution/delivery of Eastern European lowbrow fare
  • Popular or critical reception of Eastern European lowbrow cinema internationally



The editors request that abstracts of around 200 words and a short academic bio be sent to richard_nowell@hotmail.com and jindriska.blahova@ff.cuni.cz by 31 July 2016. Chapters of around 7,000 words are likely to be needed by late summer 2017. Please also feel free to contact either of the editors with informal enquiries or any questions you may have.


Jindřiška Bláhová is an Assistant Professor at the Film Studies Department of Charles University in Prague. She served as a guest editor of IluminaceThe Journal of Film Theory, History, and Aesthetics on issues on Banned Films in Eastern European CinemasPost-feminism, and Film Festivals. She has published widely in her native Czech on Czech(oslovak) film culture and her articles on the relationships between distribution, reception, and politics can be seen in the Historical Journal of Film, Radio and TelevisionFilm History, and Post Script.


Richard Nowell teaches cinema at the North American Studies Department of Charles University in Prague. He is the author of Blood Money: A History of the First Teen Slasher Film Cycle (Continuum, 2011), the editor of Merchants of Menace: The Business of Horror Cinema (Bloomsbury, 2014), and has published articles on lowbrow cinema in a number of volumes and journals including Cinema Journal, the Journal of Film & VideoPost Script, and the New Review of Film and Television Studies.