Call for Media Reviewers and Papers - Middle West Review

deadline for submissions: 
June 30, 2017
full name / name of organization: 
Adam Ochonicky, Middle West Review
contact email: 



Middle West Review is a peer-reviewed, interdisciplinary journal that examines the American Midwest and is published by the University of Nebraska Press. MWR is seeking scholars to review media texts that engage with midwestern identity. From popular films and television series to online exhibitions and digital archives, MWR spotlights Midwest-oriented media texts in each issue. If you are interested in reviewing a text from our list below, then please contact the MWR media review editor. We also welcome proposals for reviews of media texts that are not currently on the list.


Reviews should be 800-1,500 words in length. MWR also publishes “review essays,” which are 2,000-3,000 words; these longer pieces may address multiple texts or more thoroughly consider a single film, television series, or other media object.


Regarding the content of media reviews, we ask that reviewers are attentive to how a text depicts and imagines the Midwest (in addition to any other elements that the writer chooses to discuss). For instance, how does a text identify particular elements as being essentially “midwestern”? What qualities, practices, and values are attributed to the Midwest? In what ways does the text respond to actual historical circumstances and/or to invented regional mythology? How does the text situate categories such as gender, race, sexuality, and class in relation to the Midwest? These questions are not intended to be a checklist for reviewers; rather, these are among the broad considerations that inform MWR’s goal to deepen the public’s critical understanding of the American Midwest.


We accept rolling submissions of media reviews. To be selected as a reviewer, please write to:


Dr. Adam Ochonicky, Media Review Editor


Send the titles of three preferred texts from the list below and/or suggestions for texts to be reviewed. Put “Middle West Review” in the subject line of your email.


In addition to media reviews, Middle West Review is seeking scholarly articles (up to 10,000 words) on midwestern topics. As an interdisciplinary journal, we invite submissions that utilize methodologies and textual objects from a variety of fields, including film, television, media, and literary studies. Information about MWR – and the separate submission guidelines for scholarly articles – may be found on the University of Nebraska Press website:,676024.aspx





The Better Angels (dir. A. J. Edwards, 2014)

The Bronze (dir. Bryan Buckley, 2015)

Capote (dir. Bennett Miller, 2005)

Cedar Rapids (dir. Miguel Artera, 2011)

Chi-Raq (dir. Spike Lee, 2015)

Citizen Koch (dirs. Carl Deal and Tia Lessin, 2013)

Detropia (dirs. Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady, 2012)

Flag Wars (dir. Linda Goode Bryant and Laura Poitras, 2003)

The Fits (dir. Anna Rose Holmer, 2015)

Gone Girl (dir. David Fincher, 2014)

The Homesman (dir. Tommy Lee Jones, 2014)

How to Dance in Ohio (dir. Alexandra Shiva, 2015)

The Human War (dirs. Thomas Henwood and Pirooz Kalayeh, 2011)

The Informant! (dir. Steven Soderbergh, 2009)

The Interrupters (dir. Steve James, 2011)

It Follows (dir. David Robert Mitchell, 2015)

Janeane from Des Moines (dir. Grace Lee, 2012)

The Judge (dir. David Dobkin, 2014)

King of the Hill (dir. Steven Soderbergh, 1993) [a new edition was recently released by the Criterion Collection]

Kumiko, The Treasure Hunter (dir. David Zellner, 2014)

Maggie (dir. Henry Hobson, 2015)

Midwest Muslim (dir. Brock Williams, 2006)

The Myth of the American Sleepover (dir. David Robert Mitchell, 2010)

Northern Light (dir. Nick Bentgen, 2013)

Only Lovers Left Alive (dir. Jim Jarmusch, 2014)

Our Fires Still Burn: The Native American Experience (dir. Audrey Geyer, 2013)

The Overnighters (dir. Jesse Moss, 2014)

The Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio (dir. Jane Anderson, 2005)

Rich Hill (dirs. Tracy Droz Tragos and Andrew Droz Palermo, 2014)

RoboCop (dir. Paul Verhoeven, 1987); RoboCop (dir. Jose Padilha, 2014) [joint review]

Songs My Brothers Taught Me (dir. Chloé Zhao, 2015)

Stray Dog (dir. Debra Granik, 2015)

Take Shelter (dir. Jeff Nichols, 2011)

Up in the Air (dir. Jason Reitman, 2009)

Welcome to Leith (dirs. Michael Beach Nichols and Christopher K. Walker, 2015)

What’s the Matter with Kansas? (dir. Joe Winston, 2009)



Television Series:


Aliens in America (CW, creators: David Guarascio and Moses Port, 2007-2008)

All-American Muslim (TLC, 2011)

Deadwood (HBO, 2004-2006)

Defiance (Syfy, 2013-)

Easy (Netflix, 2016-)

Fargo (FX television, 2014)

Frontline – “Poor Kids” (PBS, Season 30, Episode 20; 2012)

Girls (HBO, creator: Lena Dunham, 2012-) [review Season 1, Episode 6: “The Return” and/or Season 4, part of which is set in Iowa]

Glee (Fox, creators: Ian Brennan, Brad Falchuk, and Ryan Murphy, 2009-2015)

Hot in Cleveland (TV Land, 2010-)

Hung (HBO, 2009-2011)

Making a Murderer (Netflix, 2015)

Masters of Sex (Showtime, 2013-)

The Real O’Neals (ABC, 2016-)

Stranger Things (Netflix, 2016-)

Superstore (NBC, 2015-)

Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt (Netflix, 2015-)



Digital Archives and Online Exhibitions:


Civil War on the Western Border: The Missouri-Kansas Conflict, 1854-1865, The Kansas City Public Library



“Flyover States and Representations of the U.S. Midwest,” In Media Res, January 2014



Realizing the Newberry Idea, 1887-1992, Newberry Library



Stagestruck City: Chicago’s Theater Tradition and the Birth of the Goodman, Newberry Library