A Critical Companion to Robert Zemeckis

deadline for submissions: 
July 15, 2019
full name / name of organization: 
Dr. Antonio Sanna, Prof. Adam Barkman
contact email: 

A Critical Companion to Robert Zemeckis

edited by Adam Barkman and Antonio Sanna


Part of the Critical Companion to Popular Directors series.

The Critical Companion to Popular Directors series seeks chapter proposals for a new volume dedicated to Robert Zemeckis. The director’s oeuvre includes major blockbusters such as Who Framed Roger Rabbit, the Back to the Future trilogy, Forrest Gump and Cast Away, as much as equally-successful stories such as What Lies Beneath, Beowulf, A Christmas Carol, Flight and, most recently, Alliedand Welcome to Marwen. All of his achievements have offered (and still offer) an incredibly fertile ground for critical examination, analysis and discussion. Indeed, the scholarship on Zemeckis has never ceased to proliferate and several volumes have focused on the director’s works.

This anthology will explore Zemeckis’ multi-medial oeuvre from multidisciplinary perspectives. This volume seeks previously-unpublished essays that explore the director’s heterogeneous career, not only through his “greatest hits,” but also his earliest works (I Wanna Hold Your Hand and Used Cars) as well as his less success full works (Romancing the Stone) and his work for TV. We are particularly interested in interdisciplinary approaches to the subject that can illuminate the diverse facets of the director’s work and his visual style.

There are several themes worth exploring when analyzing Zemeckis’ oeuvre, utilizing any number of theoretical frameworks of your choosing. Chapters are to be written at a high academic level as this volume will be peer-reviewed and scholarly. Contributions may include (but are not limited to) the following topics:

  •          Fantasy and reality
  •          Representations of childhood, parenting and ageing
  •          Zemeckis and Spielberg
  •          Zemeckisand fairy tales
  •          Love
  •          Gender and queer readings
  •          Isolation and solitude
  •          Exploration of dreams and the subconscious
  •          Psychoanalytical readings of the films
  •          Alienation and misperception, conformity/nonconformity
  •          Fear of the Other
  •          Horror and the monstrous
  •          The temporal paradox
  •          Time and immortality
  •          Biblical interpretations
  •          Cultural studies and popular culture
  •          Class consciousness
  •          Special effects and their evolution
  •          Zemeckis and Alan Silvestri
  •          The meaning and significance of colors
  •          Zemeckis’ legacy and the films he only produced
  •          Fan practice and fan communities
  •          Technology and the Environment
  •          Ethical and other philosophical issues
    •          Representations of UFOs
    •          Science, science fiction and mystery
    •          Representations of history
    •          Adaptation from another medium
    •          Movement and journeys
    •          Irony and humour


The anthology will be organized into thematic sections around these topics and others that emerge from submissions. We are open to works that focus on other topics as well and authors interested in pursuing other related lines of inquiry. Feel free to contact the editors with any questions you may have about the project and please share this announcement with colleagues whose work aligns with the focus of this volume.

Submit a 300-500 word abstract of your proposed chapter contribution, a brief CV and complete contact information to Prof. Adam Barkman (abarkman@redeemer.ca) and Dr. Antonio Sanna (isonisanna@hotmail.com) by 15 July, 2018. Full chapters of 5000-6000 words will be due upon signing a contract with a publisher (we expect this to be the sixth volume in our series published with Lexington Books (Rowman & Littlefield), in October/November. Note: acceptance of a proposed abstract does not guarantee the acceptance of the full chapter into the completed volume.