Call for Papers: Edited Collection on Satanism and Feminism in Popular Culture
In 2017 historian Per Faxneld published the landmark study Satanic Feminism: Lucifer as the Liberator of Woman in Nineteenth-Century Culture. The book argues for the existence of a nineteenth-century counter-reading of Satan that constructed the Devil as a symbol of women's liberation, progressive values, and intellectual freedom. For nineteenth- and early twentieth-century suffragists, artists, and radical thinkers, Satan served as an empowering model of self-determination and nonconformity. This collection seeks to build on the work of Faxneld and other scholars of the Satanic by mapping some of how Satanism has been employed as a lens through which to explore issues related to gender, sexuality, and feminist activism in twentieth- and twenty-first-century popular culture.
In the twentieth century, Satanism flourished as part of 1960s and 1970s popular Occulture, moving from real-life satanic organisations like the Church of Satan (founded in 1966) to sensationalist portrayals in films like Rosemary's Baby (1968) and The Exorcist (1973). In both its real-world and fictional incarnations, Satanism often collided with issues central to the women's movement: reproductive rights, bodily autonomy, sexual freedom, and gender-based violence. Satan also served as a symbol of women's liberation in many texts of this period, with films like Black Sunday (1960), Don't Deliver Us from Evil (1971), The Blood on Satan's Claw (1971), and Alucarda (1977) portraying Satanic women as alluring, even empowering, figures. Now, in the twenty-first century, Satanism retains its complex imbrication with feminist discourse and activism. Organisations like the Satanic Temple (founded in 2012) utilise Satanic iconography in campaigns for reproductive justice and LGBTQ+ rights. Around the same time, a new wave of films and television shows utilised Satanic ideas and iconography to explore feminist themes.
In Robert Eggers's The Witch (2015), Satan, arguably, serves as an anti-patriarchal figure, liberating the protagonist from the repressive strictures of her Puritan family. Conversely, in the American Horror Story franchise (2011-present) and The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina (2018-2020), Satanism is presented as a masculine, hetero-patriarchal religion that oppresses (female) witches. Satanism has also been used as a confrontational means of asserting LGBTQ+ pride. Earlier this year, rapper Lil Nas X stoked controversy when the video for his song "MONTERO (Call Me By Your Name)" employed Satanic imagery to posit a radical vision of queer pleasure.
We invite proposals from scholars at all stages of their careers on the intersection of Satanism and Feminism in twentieth- and twenty-first-century popular culture.
Possible topics may include but are not limited to:
- Satanism and Feminism in film, television, music, music videos, literature, videogames and comics
- Satanism and gender/sexuality
- Satanism and the waves of feminism
- Satanism and post-feminism
- Satanism and intersectional Feminism
- LGBTQ+ identities/activism and Satanism
- Satanic iconography and imagery
- Feminism and religious Satanism (i.e. The Church of Satan, The Temple of Set, Luciferianism)
- Satan as a patriarchal/anti-feminist figure
- The evolution of Satanic Feminism
Please submit all proposals by 31st October 2021