Ghostbusters – A Companion

deadline for submissions: 
July 1, 2022
full name / name of organization: 
Simon Bacon, series editor; Cathleen Allyn Conway, collection editor; Peter Lang, Oxford
contact email: 

Call for Papers: Ghostbusters – A Companion

The release of Ghostbusters: Afterlife, the fourth installment coming almost 40 years after the original Ghostbusters film, prompts inquiry into this beloved and oftentimes fraught film franchise. While the original and (and its sequel) was a paean to academics becoming the working class heroes who act as the ghost janitors of New York City, the third and fourth films, reimagined with new casts, have become a battleground for who ‘owns’ nostalgia, and have acted as meta-commentaries on the question. As Charles Bramesco wrote in his Guardian review of Ghostbusters: Afterlife, “Perhaps it’s appropriate and telling that the 2021 incarnation of an 80s artifact would be imbued with all the issues most endemic to the current studio release. Here, we can find a damning summary of modern Hollywood’s default mode – a nostalgia object, drained of personality and fitted into a dully palatable mold, custom-made for a fandom that worships everything and respects nothing.”

We are asking for essays of 2,500 words that frame a theoretical aspect of the cultural role Ghostbusters plays by centering on one text, whether literary or cinematic, to use as a lens to look at the wider topic. The essays themselves should be accessible but address the big ideas, placing Ghostbusters into cultural and historical context.

We are specifically interested in the intersections of gender, race, class, disability and LGBT+ concerns with the franchise, its tie-ins and extended universe. We are particularly interested in hearing from scholars from marginalised groups. We prioritise Own Voices and encourage you to self-identify in your bio for this purpose.

The proposed Companion will be divided into several sections. The topics in each section may include but are not limited to the following, with understanding there is room for crossover:

Ghostbusters (1984)
Ghostbusters 2 (1989)
Ghostbusters: Answer the Call (2016)
Ghostbusters: Afterlife (2021)
All soundtracks, trailers, deleted scenes, directors’ commentaries, and tie-in shorts related to the theatrical and home video release of all four films.

Extended Universe
Animated series
Comics and graphic novel adaptations and new series
Multimedia tie-ins
Gaming: board games, video games, handhelds, card games, role playing
Fan fiction: film, art, music

Live meetups and regional fan groups
Cosplay, costume and prop makers
Model builders and automobile restoration enthusiasts
Small business tie-ins
Ghost hunters

Food tie-ins and merchandising
Vintage toy collectors
Pin Trading
Ghostbusters cameos/callbacks/references in other media

Please send 300 word abstracts and a 50-word bio to editor Cathleen Allyn Conway ( by 1 July 2022 for consideration in the collection, which will be part of the Peter Lang, Oxford Genre, Literature and Film Companion Series.