Extended Deadline A Critical Companion to Mel Gibson

deadline for submissions: 
May 9, 2021
full name / name of organization: 
David Da Silva
contact email: 

Part of the Critical Companion to Popular Directors series edited by Adam Barkman and Antonio Sanna

Mel Gibson was one of the biggest film stars from the end of the nineties and the early 2000s. His movies were big international successes and he decided to become a director in 1993 with The Man without a Face, a low-budget film that already contains all the themes of his future oeuvre as a director. Obviously, Gibson is a real author, an artist who questions the ambivalence of the human being, a being who is capable of the best and the worst. This theme is also representative of his career as a director, because Gibson enjoyed fame (Braveheart won 5 Oscars, including that for best film in 1996) but also ostracization after The Passion of the Christ (2004). The latter film created a scandal, the director being accused of anti-Semitism, because of his portrayal of the Jewish people as the deicide people. In addition, Gibson’s personal life is also troubled as he himself is accused of being racist, homophobic and anti-Semist. However, like Christ, he managed to resuscitate in Hollywood with a war film Hacksaw Ridge (2016), which won 2 Oscars and 6 nominations. A feat for a director who has always tried to work on different film genres (drama, adventure film, peplum, war ...).

Now, Mel Gibson is once again an important director in Hollywood and this book shall demonstrate all the thematic and aesthetic richness of his work. We are particularly interested in interdisciplinary approaches that can illuminate the various aspects of the director’s work and visual style. This volume will undertake to address the entirety of his work. As this volume will be peer-reviewed and scholarly, chapters are to be written at a high academic level.


Contributions could include – but are not limited to – the following topics:

- Religion
- Christic Figure
- The Father Figure
- Mel Gibson’s vision of Film Genre (peplum, war, adventures, drama...)
- Violence
- Influence of Joseph Campbell
- The importance of myth
- Human ambivalence
- Madness​
- Morality​ and transgression
- Representations of masculinity and femininity​
- Sound and use of music
- War​ and rebellion
- The influence of Caravaggio
- Collaboration with Randall Wallace
- Collaboration with James Horner
- The TV series Complete Savages
- The thematic of Jew people
- The individual facing the majority

This 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 editor 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 David Da Silva (arreigada@hotmail.fr) by 9 May 2021. Full chapters of 6,000 words (minimum) will likely be due in late August after signing a contract with the publisher (we expect this to be a volume in the ongoing Critical Companion to Popular Directors series edited by Adam Barkman and Antonio Sanna and published with Lexington Books at Rowman & Littlefield).

Note: Acceptance of a proposed abstract does not guarantee the acceptance of the full chapter into the completed volume.