Hell-Bent for Leather: Sex & Sexuality in the Weird Western, Vol. II (critical collection)

deadline for submissions: 
May 1, 2021
full name / name of organization: 
Editors: Kerry Fine, Arizona State University Michael K. Johnson, University of Maine--Farmington Rebecca M. Lush, California State University San Marcos Sara L. Spurgeon, Texas Tech University

ABSTRACTS DUE MAY 1.   

From Brett Harte’s forbidden 19th century interracial love stories to the homoerotics of Star Trek and other space westerns, from the gender-queer romances in China Miéville’s fantasy western Iron Council to the human-cyborg couplings of West World, from the tight pants and BDSM-inflected camp of The Wild, Wild West to the cross-dressing protagonist in Octavia Butler’s Afrofuturism western Parable of the Sower, as weird westerns weird other genre conventions they also frequently weird sex and sexuality. This follow-up to Weird Westerns: Race, Gender, Genre (University of Nebraska Press, 2020) will explore the myriad ways sex, sexuality, and gender expression and identity are imagined in weird westerns--a hybrid genre form that mixes western themes, iconography, settings, or conventions with elements drawn from horror, fantasy, futurism, supernatural, or science fiction genres.

We are interested in submissions that explore both how the weird western challenges the representation of sex and sexuality in the conventional western and how the weird western can serve as a way to reinforce existing sexual and gender paradigms in the genre. We welcome submissions that consider how weird westerns portray gender identity, in particular texts that highlight gender queer and trans positionalities.

We are especially interested in contributions that consider sex, sexuality, and various gender identities in relation to the inclusion and representation of African American, Native American, Chicanx/Latinx, and Asian American characters and creators in the weird western, as well as weird western texts (literature, film, television, games, comics, etc.) by and about LGBTQIA creators and characters. We are seeking contributions that consider the following possible topics (but the volume’s scope is not necessarily limited to only these):

  • Weird Western violence in relation to BDSM
  • Sex and Sexuality in Weird Westerns
  • Two-Spirit representation and participation in Weird Westerns
  • Non-binary Gender Identities in Weird Westerns
  • Queer Romances in Weird Westerns
  • Sexual Empowerment in Weird Westerns
  • Sex Work and Sex Workers in Weird Westerns
  • Monstrous sex(ualities) and/or sex with Monsters
  • Ace Identities in Weird Westerns

Please send proposals to weirdwesterncollection@gmail.com by May 1, 2021. Proposals should be between 500-700 words. Those with accepted proposals will be expected to submit a full draft (6,000-8,000 words) in late August 2021.