A Critical Companion to David Lynch

deadline for submissions: 
January 8, 2022
full name / name of organization: 
Andrew Winters
contact email: 

Second CFP: A Critical Companion to David Lynch

Edited by Andrew M. Winters

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

Spanning a career over fifty years, David Lynch continues to produce, direct, and write films, music videos, shorts, animations, advertisements, television series, and films that are thought provoking and inspiring to writers, academics, artists, and the general public. His distinct form of visual surrealism has been critically received by the general public, arthouse enthusiasts, and academics. His crossover success in advertisement and the mainstream indicate that Lynch’s artistic vision draws the viewer in at both the conscious and unconscious levels, a desirable goal given Lynch’s own predilection for transcendental meditation. His various works leave the viewer perplexed and he has stated that he will never explain his work, stating in a 2018 interview for The Guardian, “The words are not there …The language of film, cinema, is the language it was put into, and English language—it’s not going to translate. It’s going to lose … A film or TV show is like a magic act, and magicians don’t tell how they did a thing.” Despite the audience’s inability to fully comprehend Lynch’s productions, there is much to be gained by critically engaging and exploring his well-known works such as Eraserhead (1977), The Elephant Man (1980), Dune (1984), Twin Peaks (1989-1991; 2017), Blue Velvet (1986), Lost Highway (1995), Mulholland Drive (2001). Furthermore, his wide range of more obscure shorts such as Six Men Getting Sick (1966), Rabbits (2002), Lamp (2003), Blue Bob Egg (2004), and Intervalmoter Experiments (2004) offer deeper insight to his aesthetic and philosophical visions.

This anthology seeks previously unpublished essays that explore David Lynch’s body of work. We are particularly interested in interdisciplinary approaches that can illuminate the various aspects of Lynch’s work and visual style. This volume aims to critically address the entirety of his work, including films, advertisements, animations, shorts, music videos, and television series. Essays exploring Lynch’s paintings, illustrations, drawings, t-shirt designs, and even his coffee will also be considered. 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:

● Film Genres (e.g., psychological thrillers, noir, horror, mystery, drama, science fiction, etc.)

● Surrealism

● Collaborations

● Photography and cinematography

● Color patterns

● Shapes and symmetry

● Sets and architecture

● Soundscapes and music

● Interpersonal relationships

● Consumerism

● Aesthetics

● Mystery

● Gender

● Transcendental meditation

● Buddhism

● Film as philosophy

● Consciousness studies

● Metaphysics / Reality

● Mysticism

NOTE: Works already covered, include Mulholland Drive, Straight Story, Dune, Twin Peaks, Wild at Heart, Six Men Getting Sick, Inland Empire, and The Grandmother. Since this volume is aiming to cover as much of Lynch’s works, we are seeking chapters discussing Lynch’s work not already mentioned, or, at least, not focusing primarily on those works that are mentioned here.

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. Prospective authors are welcome to contact the editor with any questions, including potential topics not listed above. Please share this announcement with anyone you believe would be interested in contributing to this volume. Please submit a 300-500 word abstract of your proposed chapter contribution, a brief CV / bio, current position, affiliation, and complete contact information to Andrew M. Winters (andrew.winters@yc.edu) by January 8th , 2022. Full chapters of 5,000-6,000 words are likely due in May 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 Roman & Littlefield).

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