Deadline approaching: Call for Chapters: Of (Hu)Man and Monarchs: Humanness and the Fictional Representations of Monarchs in literature, Arts, popular culture and Media

deadline for submissions: 
December 31, 2021
full name / name of organization: 
University of Gafsa

Call for Chapters: Of (Hu)Man and Monarchs: Humanness and the Fictional Representations of Monarchs in literature, Arts, popular culture and Media (The title may change) contact email: 

He wrapped himself in regal garments and fastened the sash.

When Gilgamesh placed his crown on his head,

a princess Ishtar raised her eyes to the beauty of Gilgamesh.

When Gilgamesh rejects the advances of Ishtar and refuses to follow in his father's footsteps (as Gilgamesh himself was the son of a goddess), he renounces the status of the chosen lover and champion of the Goddess and (unwittingly) decides to be fully human. The death of Enkido soon sets him on a doomed quest for immortality. This quest can be read as an attempt to regain the former status he renounced. He desires to reestablish his connection with the divine but on his own terms. The final defeat of Gilgamesh establishes mortality as the inevitable fate of men and monarchs. The epic of Gilgamesh, like other epics, announces the severing of the connection between the divine and the human in the political realm. After Gilgamesh, the biographies of Mesopotamian rulers started to seem more human despite the formulaic presence of the divine. In ancient Egypt and ancient Greece, Monarchs were either gods or descendants of gods. In the Medieval age, he divine right of kings replaced the old myths about the divine lineage of monarchs. 

But, as humanness became a more secular concept, kings started to be defined and judged in different terms.  Machiavelli's realpolitik and the advent of Renaissance humanism put the concept of divine right in question. The human rather than the divine started to define the monarchs in the West. In the East, however, while Europe was restricting its monarchs and consigning them to ceremonial roles, the Meiji restoration reestablished the emperor at the center of the political system in Japan after centuries of nominal rule. This shows that the history of Monarchy is not universal. Even in Europe, the return of Monarchy in Spain after Franco's death shows that this system is not considered outdated or unthinkable (On the contrary, it is sometimes a viable solution that safeguards democracy).

The triumphs and failures of human monarchs may inspire contemporary historical literature but the posthuman monarch has a stronger sway over the realm of the imagination. In recent years, the gothic and horror genres have gained remarkable popularity in cinema and popular culture. In contemporary gothic fiction across the established and emerging narrative media, the figures of the Mummy and the vampire are usually depicted as monarchic figures that seek revenge for past wrongs. Throughout the history of literature, revenge is closely related to the theme of royalty. In classical and Renaissance, modern and contemporary revenge narratives, for example, loyalty to a deceased patriarch gives legitimacy to the actions of their heirs. Indeed, revenge narratives in Shakespeare and beyond are generally based on father-son emotional dynamics. These emotional dynamics are described as monarchic by Martha C Nussbaum in her book Political Emotions: Why Love Matters for Justice. In Victorian and contemporary horror fiction, the father-son dynamics are more complex as the royal father is the past self of the revenant. Many iconic science fiction works depict monarchs and regal figures such as Thanos, Palpatine and even Brainiac. Many of these figures, like the gothic monsters and revenants, are posthuman figures with immense power and ambition.    

This collection seeks to study the depiction of royalty in works of fiction on the page, canvas, the stage and the screen. It seeks to identify recurrent archetypes and structural paradigms that make the theme of royalty (seem) universal. It also seeks to discover whether this universality is cross-cultural or whether it is a manifestation of hegemonic (mainly Eurocentric) cultural and discursive patterns. This collection is interested in works that depict royalty as central to their thematic structure.  This collection's initial vision is to be centered on the humanness of the monarch. It will study the prehuman monarch of myths and sacred texts and then show how monarchs were humanized (and the extent to which they were/are perceived as human). Finally, it will deal with the posthuman alien and AI monarchs of science fiction. As a matter of fact, it will be divided into three major parts:

- The Pre-human (divine or other) Monarch

- The concept of the prehuman king needs great attention and this collection welcomes any new takes on the idea of the pre-human both as a politcal or philosophical notion

The Human Monarch

The Post-Human Monarch


The collection accepts full articles (in English) between 4000 and 7000 words formatted according to the latest edition of the Chicago manual of style (This may change since we have two publication offers.) on one or more of the following topics or other related topics: 

- Monarchic universals 

- Monarchy and the divine 

- Zeus the king of the Gods

- Monarchic divinity

- God as king in Milton and the Bible

- The depiction of monarchs in sacred texts and their influence on literature and media 

- Myths and legends about Monarchs 

- Gilgamesh and Humanism 

- We also seek articles about the relationship between the rise of royal power and the birth of Renaissance humanism in Europe

- Prehuman (God, hero), human and post-human (AI, Alien) monarchs

- how, where and when monarchy start(ed)/cease(d) to be human

- The role of Monarchs in Fairy Tales and romances 

- Harun Al-Rashid in poetry and fiction

- The divine Monarch and the human monarch in early literature 

- Monarchs in Greek drama 

- Monarchs in Medieval Romances

- Monarchs in the translations and adaptations of the Arabian Nights

- European accounts of Eastern Monarchs 

- Sufi poetry and the Monarchs of Northern India

- The kings of the Sagas 

- Monarchy in/and political satire 

- For king and country/For king or country: Fiction and poetry about fighting for or against monarchy in English, Spanish, Nepalese and Cambodian civil wars (or other civil wars involving monarchists)

- Monarchists ('/in) literature  

- Brainiac and other supercomputers as monarchs (monarchy and AI) 

- the theme of monarchy in comparative literature and postcolonial literary and media studies 

- Female monarchs on the page, the stage and the screen

- Egyptian and Oriental Monarchs in Post-War Italian Cinema 

- Feminist studies of monarchy 

- Monarchy and narratives about slavery in America 

- The figure of Dracula through time (as monarch -even in modern or futuristic guises) 

- Vampires, Ghosts and other revenants as monarchic figures 

- Eternal and undead monarchs

- Revenge and monarchy 

- Queen Elizabeth I in fiction 

- Royalty in contemporary romantic literature and films 

- The royal other in travel narratives and colonial narratives 

- The king and patriarch in ancient and contemporary narratives about Troy 

- The Shakespearian monarch 

- Palpatine and the cult of the star war monarch 

- The Grand Turk: Ottoman Sultans in Western fiction

- portrayal of Native kings in precolonial, colonial and postcolonial Africa

- Heroes as -future - monarchs and monarchs as -past heroes - heroes 

- Regal figures (characters who behave like royalty though they are not royal) 

- Xerxes from The Persians of Aeschylus to 300 

- King Arthur then and now 

- Alien kings in science fiction 

-  Monarchic emotions 

- The Godfather, the Queen of the South and Yakuza (Mafia narratives and the Monarchist nature of crime organizations in fiction)

- African Monarchs in European fiction and cinema

- Monarchs in contemporary Yoruba  literature and media

- Fictionalized Chinese emperors in Western travel narratives

- The Mandate of Heaven in Chinese, Korean and East Asian fiction 

- Chinese Monarchs in contemporary cinema

- Indian Monarchs in literature and Media

- Fictionalized accounts of Russian and Byzantine Monarchs

- Monarchs in post-revolutionary French literature

- Portrayal of Versailles in literature and Media

- Queen Elizabeth II in fiction

- Characterization techniques used to portray fictional monarchs

- Fictitious monarchs in poetry

- Victorian and 19th century depiction of European and Eastern Monarchs 

- Monarchs in crime fiction 

- Fictional Monarchs in popular culture

- American born English Aristocrats in fiction and Cinema (example: Little Lord Fauntleroy by Frances Hodgson Burnett, King Ralph)

- The Prince and the Pauper archetype

- From bastard to king: The journey to the crown from Theseus to Arthur and beyond

- Fictional monarchs in music and dance

- The portrayal of Monarchs in visual arts (historical perspectives and contemporary visual arts (digital arts, cosplay etc) are preferred)

- oriental royal harems in Western narratives and visual arts

- The theme of special bloodline in science fiction and gothic literature

- The chosen one in sacred and literary texts 

- Fictional Monarchs and Neo Humanism

- Neo Paganism and religious monarchism in contemporary popular culture

- The last Medieval Monarch: we welcome works on the fictional representations of Emperor Franz Joseph in literature and cinema

- Big family businesses and inheritance problems in Fiction 

Articles about specific works are also welcome. We will be waiting for chapters about:

-The Originals

-The Crown

-Bram Stoker Dracula and its adaptations

- The Godfather 1972

- The Witcher (portrayal of royalty in the novel and its adaptations)

- The Histories of Shakespeare

- Song of Ice and Fire and its adaptations

- The novels of Philipa Gregory and their adaptations

- Akhnaton by Agatha Christie

- Faraon (1966)

- 300

- Tale of Genji

- King Lear

- The King (2019)

- Outlaw King (2018)

- The emperor and the assassin (1998)

- The Last Emperor (1987)

- Dracula 3000

- Camelot 3000 (comic book)

- The Idylls of the King by Alfred Tennyson

- Mass Effect Andromeda (the Archon/the pathfinder)

- The Marvel Universe

- Superman

- Disney Princesses

and other works where the theme of royalty is central. 

Please send your contributions along with a 150 word abstract and a 200 word bio note (the bio will not be sent to the peer reviewers) to by December 31th, 2021 (extensions may happen depending on the amount and nature of the contributions)

If you have any queries please contact the editor Dr. Nizar Zouidi through email at

All contributions will be peer reviewed twice (by the editor's reviewers and by the publisher's reviewers to ensure quality).

It is highly recommended to make sure your article contains no typos or errors.

It should also be noted that while we accept epigraphs for the papers, we prefer that they do not exceed a stanza or two if they are in verse or 5 sentences if they are in prose (the shorter the better). 

While illustrations and visual materials will certainly strengthen the argument of the chapter, the author should be prepared to delete them or replace them with references (which might prove a challenge, but sometimes the production phase can require such changes). The article should be complete without the illustrations (they should be optional). I will try to get them printed but I may not be able to convince the publisher so be prepared to make do without them. Even if we get them published, they will probably be black and white. Moeover, the authors should be very careful with copyrighted third party materials and remain within the boundaries of fair use. 

The publisher may only provide limited proofreading this is why the editor recommends Anthony Wright as a professional proofreader that will reliably correct and format your manuscript after acceptance Home | Anthony Wright - Editor, Proofreader, Author ( He helped with the previous collection on villainy and evil and the result is quite satisfying Performativity of Villainy and Evil in Anglophone Literature and Media | SpringerLink. The editor does not take part in any of the transactions you make with the recommended proofreader or any other proofreader you choose. Of course, you may not need any help from a professional proofreader but either way, the editor hopes that your very first draft is already in a publishable shape so we can discuss any changes that would help connect it to the rest of the book. 

The concepts of the human, posthuman, and the pre-human (divine, heroic and mythological) are central to this collection, therefore we highly recommend that your article at least deals with one of them. These concepts are dynamically fluid and this collection wishes to reflect this dynamism. 

Finally, please note that while this book cannot avoid being political, it does not seek to overtly or covertly promote or serve any political agenda or ideology. Any biased views about real sitting or deceased monarchs (especially his majesty king Gilgamesh of Uruk) will not be accepted.