update: call for book chapters: critical essays on Trump in literature, film, and television

deadline for submissions: 
November 15, 2018
full name / name of organization: 
Stephen Hock / Virginia Wesleyan University
contact email: 

I am seeking proposals for chapters to complete an edited collection on treatments of Donald Trump in literature, film, and television, tentatively titled Trump Fiction, under contract for publication with Lexington Books, a division of Rowman & Littlefield.

Contributors must have a PhD.  

In “The Year in Trump Novel Pitches: An Agent’s Lament,” an essay that appeared on Lithub.com on March 30, 2018, Erik Hane notes a curious phenomenon of his experience as a literary agent in 2017, namely, “an overwhelming number of aspiring novelists started writing about Trump.” What this article fails to mention is that novelists, screenwriters, cartoonists, and other writers (and not just aspiring ones) had been writing about Donald Trump for years before he became president, in terms that uncannily prefigure the discourse that has since grown to surround his presidency.

This unexplored history is, in one sense, unsurprising: Trump was a public figure long before he became President of the United States, one who became familiar to American audiences through his appearances in a wide variety of media over a period of several decades, and it is only natural that depictions of or references to Trump turn up in a number of texts that predate his political career.

While much has been made of Trump’s selling of himself to the American public in branded productions that identified him as their author or producer, ranging from books such as Trump: The Art of the Deal to his reality-television Apprentice franchise, however, little to no scholarly attention has been paid to the treatment of Trump in works by others.

This collection, Trump Fiction: Essays on Donald Trump in Literature, Film, and Television, seeks to remedy that critical blind spot by examining the treatment of Trump and his fictional analogues in literature, film, and television, both works that took up the subject of Trump before his successful presidential campaign as well as those that appeared after he took office, including works that touch on Trump tangentially or metonymically in contexts appropriate to critical discussion of his presidency. The aim of the collection is to address the question of how these works’ treatments of Trump can anticipate, shape, reflect, and help us better understand the discourse that has surrounded his presidency.

Proposals for chapters on any work of Trump fiction are welcome, especially on texts other than American Psycho.  I particularly welcome proposals for chapters on:

  • Olivia Laing's Crudo
  • Jeffrey Robinson's Trump Tower (originally promoted as a novel by Donald Trump)
  • Salman Rushdie's The Golden House
  • Andrew Shaffer's The Day of the Donald:  Trump Trumps America
  • Gary Shteyngart's Lake Success
  • poems on Trump, such as Cody Walker's The Trumpiad and many of the poems published in Amit Majmudar's Resistance, Rebellion, Life:  50 Poems Now and Michael Boughn & Kent Johnson's Resist Much/Obey Little:  Inaugural Poems to the Resistance

I encourage contributors interested in writing on texts other than these to contact me, to make sure your contribution would not overlap with a chapter already committed to this collection.

Please send inquiries and 500-word proposals, along with a CV, to Stephen Hock, shock@vwu.edu, by November 15, 2018.  Contributors will be notified by December 1, and completed chapters of 5,000 to 7,000 words will be due April 1, 2019.