CFC Screening Loss: An Exploration of Grief in Contemporary Horror Cinema

deadline for submissions: 
August 1, 2021
full name / name of organization: 
Dr. Erica J. Dymond - East Stroudsburg University

Horror films have long held a place in cinematic history as an expression of the monstrous, the un-nameable, and the unknown. They are a powerful point of catharsis in which viewers see their deepest fears played out onscreen, whether the threat is fully embodied or less concretely defined. As a result, grief and loss have always figured heavily in this genre.    

This collection addresses horror films’ treatment of loss, specifically grief and how grief shapes, magnifies, and escalates the horrific. Selected films should be from the last twenty years. This contemporary approach will lend the collection a sense of urgency. Moreover, in addition to conventional horror films like Kevin Kölsch and Dennis Widmyer’s remake of Pet Sematary (on which we would prize a chapter), we highly support explorations of less frequently examined films that contain a high degree of complexity in content and aesthetics. A24 films are the perfect example of this. Additionally, examinations of genre-defying films such as David Lowery’s A Ghost Story and Ari Aster’s Hereditary are especially encouraged.    

We value inclusivity and welcome abstracts that focus on international films as well as those who are historically underrepresented.    

The book is structured to be a reader for film seminars as well as a tool for research. As a result, each chapter will focus on a single film. And, while the chapters are narrow in this sense, we fully expect that contributors will wish to reference other films and works of art in their essays.    

With our book nearing completion, we welcome submissions from those with terminal degrees in English as well as film to expedite the publishing process.

Some chapters of the book are already complete:    

*Juan Antonio García’s Bayona’s El Orfanato (2007)

*Jorge Michel Grau’s Somos lo Que Hay (2010)

*Mladen Đorđević’s The Life and Death of a Porno Gang (2011)

*Lars von Trier’s Melancholia (2011)

*Jennifer Kent’s The Babadook (2014)

* David Lowery’s A Ghost Story (2017)

*Michael Spierig and Peter Spierig’s Winchester (2018)

*Ari Aster’s Midsommer (2019)

Outside of the pieces on this list, we welcome submissions on all horror films that have grief at the fore. 

Please submit a 500-word chapter abstract and a C.V. by August 1st 2021 to All theoretical approaches are welcome but all abstracts must have grief and loss at the absolute fore. 

All abstracts will be given full consideration. We will notify applicants of the results by August 10th 2021. If selected, the contributor has until January 1st 2021 to submit her/his/their completed chapters.    

We have a contract in-hand from Lexington press.