[Publisher Attached Collection / Reference Work]: Dystopian States of America: Apocalyptic Visions and Warnings in American Literature, Film, and Politics.

deadline for submissions: 
June 1, 2019
full name / name of organization: 
Matthew B. Hill, Ph.D. / Coppin State University
contact email: 

Deadline for Essay Proposals:            Rolling, but will accept until June 1, 2019  or until all overview essays are assigned  
Deadline for Essay Drafts:                  January 15, 2020
Deadline for Reference Entries:         December 1, 2019  



Submissions requested for Dystopian States of America: Apocalyptic Visions and Warnings in American Literature, Film, and Politics.  This project aims to be an accessible, wide-ranging survey of and reference work on dystopian and apocalyptic themes in literature, film, and popular culture.   According to the publisher:

The set will not only provide insights into some of the most influential and disturbing visions of futuristic dystopia/apocalypse in film and literature, but also provide a gateway through which to examine anxieties and concerns that have roiled American politics and society over the years, such as climate change and other environmental catastrophes,  nuclear proliferation, totalitarianism, technological over-reach (artificial intelligence, genetic engineering), pandemics, cultural decay, racial tensions/competition, and religious extremism.  

This collection is set to be published by ABC-Clio Publishers in mid-2021.  

Compensation in the form of contributors’ copies will be provided.  

Project information and updates, including an updated list of available topics, is located at the project website,  http://www.dystopianstates.net.  



Organization & Contents:

Dystopian States of America will be comprised of two main sections: 

  • Five to Seven (5-7) 3,000 word overview essays that will investigate in a critical but accessible way the relationship between cultural visions of dystopia and specific societal anxieties and the political/cultural forces that both drive and respond to those visions and concerns.   

    These essays should be written for an educated lay audience (high-school / undergraduate) rather than a strictly academic one. 

    Subjects for overview essays (~3,000 words) include: 

    • totalitarianism
    • war
    • environmental calamity
    • disease / pandemics
    • cultural decline
    • technological overreach
    • social inequality / class conflict
    • racial anxieties / fear of the “other”

Scholars interested in contributing an overview essay should send a 300-400 word proposal and CV to the project editor, Dr. Matthew B Hill at mhill@coppin.edu .  Essays will be assigned on a rolling basis until June 1, 2019 or all essays have been assigned.    Drafts of accepted essays will be due via email by no later than on January 15, 2020.  

Essays should use Chicago Manual of Style (17th Ed).  



  • Approximately 150-175 reference entries (600-1,500 words) on works of apocalyptic and / or dystopian fiction in a variety of media (literature, film, music, video games).  These entries should be written for an educated lay audience (high school / undergraduate) and  should consist of the following:
    • A short overview of the plot of the work;
    • An analysis of the major themes present in the work;
    • A brief discussion of how one or more cultural concerns or anxieties common to dystopian fiction (totalitarianism, war, environmental calamity, disease / pandemics, cultural decline, technological overreach, social inequality / class conflict, racial anxieties / fear of the “other”) are addressed or interrogated in the work.    
    • Any key secondary sources that address the work;
    • Subjects for which entries are needed (and associated suggested word counts) are as follows: 


An updated list of reference entries is available at  http://dystopianstates.net/index.php/reference-entries-dystopian-states-....



12 Monkeys  (Gilliam, Terrry)      600

1984 (Orwell, George; Radford, Michael)           1,500

2001: A Space Odyssey (Clarke, Arthur C.; Kubrick, Stanley)    1,000

2012  (Emmerich, Roland)           600

28 Days Later /28 Weeks Later (Boyle, Danny; Fresnadillo, Fernando) 600

3%   (Netflix Series)         600

A Boy and His Dog (Ellison, Harlan)       600

A Clockwork Orange (Burgess, Anthony; Kubrick, Stanley)      1,500

Aeon Flux  (Chung, Peter; Kusama, Karyn)         600

Age of Apocalypse (X-Men)          600

AI  600  (Spielberg, Steven)

Akira  (Otomo, Katsuhiro)            600

Alas, Babylon (Frank, Pat)           600

All The Birds in the Sky (Anders, Charlie Jane)   600

All These Things I've Done (Zevin, Gabrielle)     600

Altered Carbon  (Kalogridis, Laeta)         600

American War (El Akkad, Omar) 600

Amerika  (ABC Miniseries)           600

An Ember in the Ashes (Tahir, Sabaa)      600

Animal Farm (Orwell, George)    1,500

Armageddon (Bay, Michael)         600

Atlas Shrugged (Rand, Ayn)         1,000

Avatar  (Cameron, James)            600

Avatar: The Last Airbender (DiMartino, Michael Dante; Konietzko, Bryan)     600

Batman      (Kane, Bob; )  2,000

Battlefield Earth  (Christian, Roger)        600

Battlestar Galactica (Larson, Glen A.; Moore, Ronald)  750

Belles, The  (Clayton, Dhonielle)  600

Black Mirror (Brooker, Charlie)   1,500

Blade Runner (Scott, Ridley)       1,000

Blade Runner 2049 (Villenueve; Denis)  600

Book of Eli, The  (Hughes, Albert)           600

Brave New World (Huxley, Aldous)        1,500

Brazil  (Malick, Terrance)             750

Broken Earth Series (Jemisin, N.K.)        750

Canticle for Leibowitz (Miller, Walter M.)          750

Children of Men (James, P.D.; Cuaron, Alfonso) 1,000

Circle, The (Eggers, Dave)           600

City of Ember, The (DuPrau, Jeanne)       600

Cloverfield Series  (Abrams, J.J., et. al) 600

Colony  (Condal, Ryan; Cuse, Carlton)    600

C.S.A.: Confederate States of America (Willmot, Kevin)            600

Contagion (Soderbergh, Steven) 600

Crazies, The (Romero, George A.; Eisner, Breck)           600

Cyborg  (Monae, Janelle) 600

Dahlgren (Delany, Samuel R.)     600

Dawn of the Dead (Romero, George A.; Snyder, Zack) 600

Day After Tomorrow, The (Emmerich, Roland) 600

Day of the Triffids (Wyndam, John)         600

Day the Earth Caught Fire, The  (Guest, Val)     600

Daybreakers (Sperig, Michael)     600

Days of Futures Past (X-Men)      600

Death Race / Death Race 2000 (Bartel, Paul; Anderson, Paul W.S.)      600

Delicatessen (Caro, Marc; Jeunet, Jean-Pierre)    600

Disappointments of the Apocalypse (Karr, Mary)            600

District 9 (Blomkamp, Neil)  600

Divergent Series (Roth, Veronica; Burger, Neil) 600

Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep (Dick, Philip K)  600

Dog Stars, The (Heller, Peter)      600

Elysium     (Scott, Ridley)  600

Escape from New York / LA  (Carpenter, John)    600

eXistenZ  (Cronenberg, David)     600

Falling Skies (TNT Series; Rodat, Robert)          600

Fallout (Video Game Series)        600

Fareinheit 451  (Bradbury, Ray; Truffaut, Francois; Bahrani, Ramin)   1,500

Fifth Season, The (Jemisin, N.K.) 600

Firefly / Serenity  (Whedon, Joss)            600

Futureland (Moseley, Walter)      600

Gattaca (Niccol, Andrew)            1,000

Giver, The (Lowry, Lois)  600

Half-Life Series (Video Game Series)      600

Handmaid's Tale, The (Atwood, Margaret; Miller, Bruce)          1,500

Happening, The (Shymalan, M. Night)    600

Homefront Series (Video Game Series) 600

Hunger Games, The (Collins, Suzanne;  Ross, Gary, Lawrence, Francis)           1,000

I Am Legend / The Last Man on Earth / The Omega Man (Matheson, Richard; Salko, Sidney; Sagal, Boris; Lawrence, Francis)  1,200

I, Robot (Asimov, Isaac; Proyas, Alex)    600

Idiocracy    (Judge, Mike) 1,000

In Time (Niccol, Andrew) 600

Independence Day (Emmerich, Roland) 600

Infinite Jest (Wallace, David Foster)        600

Interstellar             (Nolan, Christopher) 600

Invasion of the Body Snatchers (Kaufman, Philip)           600

Invasion USA  (Green, Alfred E.; Zito, Joseph)   600

Iron Heel, The (London, Jack)      750

Island, The (Bay, Michael)           600

It Can't Happen Here (Lewis, Sinclair)    600

Jeremiah   (Straczynski, J. Michael) 600

Jericho (Chbosky, Stephen; Schaer, Josh)           600

Judge Dredd (Wagner, John; Cannon, Danny)    600

Last Man on Earth, The (TV Series; Forte, Will) 600

Last Policeman, The (Winters, Ben H.)   600

Lathe of Heaven, The (LeGuin, Ursula K.)          600

Left Behind (LaHaye, Tim; Jenkins, Jerry B.; Armstrong, Vic)   750

Leftovers, The (Perotta, Tom; Lindelof, Damon) 600

Lobster, The (Lanthimos, Yorgos)           600

Logan's Run (Nolan, William F.)  750

Mad Max Series    (Miller, George) 1,500

Make Room! Make Room!  (Harrison, Harry)       600

Man in the High Castle, The (Dick, Philip K.; Spotnitz, Frank)  1,000

Matrix, The (Wachowskis, The)   1,000

Maze Runner, The (Ball, Wes)     600

Metro Series (Video Game Series)           600

Metropolis   (Lang, Fritz) 1,000

Minority Report  (Dick, Philip K.; Spielberg, Steven)     600

Mist, The (King, Stephen; Darabont, Frank)        600

Mumbo Jumbo (Reed, Ishmael)    600

Neuromancer (Gibson, William)  600

Never Let Me Go (Ishiguro, Kazuo)         600

Night of the Living Dead  (Romero, George A.) 1,000

On the Beach (Kramer, Stanley)   1,000

Oryx and Crake (Atwood, Margaret)       600

Outbreak (Petersen, Wolfgang) 600

Parable of the Sower (Butler, Octavia)    600

Passage, The (Cronin, Justin; Heldens, Liz)        600

Planet of the Apes Series(Schaffner, Franklin J.; et. al) 1,500

Player Piano (Vonnegut, Kurt)    600

Pleasantville (Ross, Gary)            600

Postman, The (Costner, Kevin)    600

Purge, The Series (DeMonaco, James, et. al.)      1,000

Quiet Place, A (Krasinski, John)  600

Ready Player One (Cline, Ernest; Spielberg, Steven)      600

Red Dawn  (Milius, John)                         600

Red Faction (Video Game Series)            600

Red Rising Trilogy (Brown, Pierce)          600

Resident Evil (Video Game Series; Anderson, Paul W.S., et. al.)            600

Revelation, Book of           1,500

Riddley Walker (Hoban, Russel)   600

Road, The (McCarthy, Cormac)   1,000

Robocop    (Verhoeven, Paul)  600

Rollerball  (Jewison, Norman; McTiernan, John) 600

Ruins (Ellis, Warren)        600

Running Man, The (King, Stephen; Glaser, Paul Michael)          600

Scanner Darkly, A (Dick, Philip K.; Linklater, Richard) 600

Seeking a Friend for the End of the World (Scafaria, Lorene)     600

Shaun of the Dead  (Wright, Edgar) 600

Skin Folk (Hopkinson, Nalo)        600

Slaughterhouse-Five (Vonnegut, Kurt)    750

Snow Crash (Stephenson, Neal)   600

Snowpiercer  (Bong, Joon-ho)      600

Sorry to Bother You  (Riley, Boots)         600

Soylent Green (Fleischer, Richard)          750

Stand, The (King, Stephen)  600

Starship Troopers (Heinlen Robert; Verhoeven, Paul)    600

Station 11  (Mandel, Emily St. John)        600

Super Sad True Love Story (Shteyngart)  600

Surrogates (Mostow, Jonathan) 600

Survivors   (Hodges, Adrian) 600

Tank Girl   (Hewlett, Jamie; Talalay, Rachel) 600

Terminator, The  (Cameron, James)         1,000

The Last of Us (Video Game Series) 600

They Live (Carpenter, John)          600

This is the End  (Wright, Edgar)   600

THX 1138  (Lucas, George)  600

Total Recall (Verhoeven, Paul; Wiseman, Len)   600

Transcendence (Pfister, Wally)    600

Transmetropolitan (Ellis, Warren)           600

Trial, The (Kafka, Franz)  600

Turner Diaries, The  (Pierce, William Luther)    600

V for Vendetta (Moore, Alan; Wachowskis, The)            1,000

Walking Dead, The (Kirkman, Robert; Darabont, Frank)            1,000

Wall-E  (Stanton, Andrew)           600

War of the Worlds (Wells, H.G.; film adaptations)  600

Warm Bodies (Levine, Jonathan) 600

Wasteland  (Video Game Series)  600

Watchmen (Moore, Alan; Snyder, Zack)  1,000

Watership Down (Adams, Walter)           600

Waterworld  (Reynolds, Kevin)    600

We (Zamyatin, Yevgeny)  600

Westworld  (Crichton, Michael)    600

What Happened to Monday (Wirkola, Tommy)   600

Windup Girl, The (Bacigalupi, Paolo)      600

Wool (Howley, Hugh)      600

World War Z (Brooks, Max; Forster, Marc)         600

World's End, The  (Wright, Edgar)  600

Y: The Last Man (Vaughn, Brian K.)       600

Z for Zachariah  (O'Brien, Robert C; Zobel, Craig)         600

Zombieland (Fleischer, Ruben)    600


Reference entries should use the Chicago Manual of Style (17th Ed). 


Scholars interested in contributing reference entries should send an email query and CV to the project editor, Dr. Matthew B Hill (mhill@coppin.edu) indicating which entries they would like to contribute; Dr. Hill will assign entries on a rolling basis until the project is completed.   

Queries will be accepted starting on February 11, 2019, and completed entries will be due from contributors via email by no later than December 1, 2019.    





Contributors’ copies will be provided based on the level of contribution to the project. 


Overview Essay (3,000 words)

1 contributor copy

1-3 entries (~1,800 words)

Complimentary E-Text

Up to 6 entries 

Complimentary E-Text & 1 contributor copy

7+ entries

Complimentary E-Text & 1 contributor copy; additional contributor copy for every 3 entries (~1,800 words) completed above the initial 6.  (e.g., at the 9th, 12th , 15th, etc.)



About the Editor:

Matthew B. Hill, Ph.D., is Associate Professor of English at Coppin State University in Baltimore, Maryland.   His work centers on representations of warfare in 20th & 21st century literature and popular culture.   His work has appeared in War, Literature, and the Arts, The Journal of American Culture, Extrapolation, The Almanack, and the Journal of Popular Culture.  He is the editor, with Andrew Schopp, of The War on Terror and American Popular Culture (Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, 2009), and the author of Unconventional Warriors:  The Fantasy of the American Resistance Fighter in Film and Television (Prager, 2018).