Call for Papers - Critical Essays on the Highlander Franchise
Call for Papers
Critical Essays on the Highlander Franchise
Abstract Submission Deadline: This is an updated call - open until filled
There Can Be Only One. This phrase was made popular 35 years ago with the release of Highlander, a fantasy action-adventure film directed by Russell Mulcahy and starring Christophe Lambert, Sean Connery, and Clancy Brown. While it did not turn a profit during its theatrical release, it did become a cult film inspiring several sequels, three television series, original novels, comic books, audio books, video games, a web series, collectibles, musical scores, and a loyal fandom who have successfully organized a number of Highlander fan conventions.
Over the years, aspects of this franchise has become part of popular culture’s lexicon, such as the enduring Queen album, A Kind of Magic with iconic phrases (“Princes of the Universe”/“There Can Be Only One”), and dramatic imagery (electrifying beheadings and portrayals of historic events/places). Since 2008, there have been discussions of remakes and reboots and most recently in May 2021 with Henry Cavill proposed to have a lead role.
Interestingly, other than franchise retrospectives, soundtrack analysis, and film reviews, there are no singular books of scholarly focus. This proposed transmedia book will seek to address this gap by collecting a series of essays that provide a focused exploration of the Highlander franchise.
The editor seeks essays exploring any aspect of the Highlander franchise in films/television, literature, comics, video games, and any other popular culture medium such as:
- Films*: Highlander (1986, Russell Mulcahy); Highlander II: The Quickening (1991, Russell Mulcahy); Highlander III: The Sorcerer (1995, Andy Morahan); Highlander: Endgame (2000, Doug Aarniokoski); Highlander: The Source (2007, Brett Leonard); Highlander: The Search for Vengeance (2007, Yoshiaki Kawajiri)
- Television series: Highlander: The Series (1992-1998); Highlander: The Animated Series (1994-1996); Highlander: The Raven (1998-1999)
- Books: Highlander: Die Ruckkehr des Unsterblichen (Highlander: The Return of the Immortal, 1994, Martin Eisele and Hans Sommer); Highlander: The Element of Fire (1995, Jason Henderson); Highlander: Scimitar (1996, Ashley McConnell); Highlander: Scotland the Brave (1996, Jennifer Roberson); Highlander: Measure of a Man (1997, Nancy Holder); Highlander: The Path (1997, Rebecca Neason); Highlander: Zealot (1997, Donna Lettow); Highlander: Shadow of Obsession (1998, Rebecca Neason); Highlander: The Captive Soul (1998, Josepha Sherman); Highlander: White Silence (1999, Ginjer Buchanan); Highlander: An Evening at Joe’s (2002, written by cast/crew of Highlander: The Series)
- Comics: Highlander comic book series (Dynamite Entertainment); Highlander 3030 (Emerald Star Comics)
- Video games: Highlander (1986, PC); Highlander: The Last of the MacLeods (1995, Atari Jaguar CD)
- Audio*: Highlander: The Original Scores (1995); Big Finish Productions’ Highlander audio stories; Highlander: A Celtic Opera
- Web series: The Methos Chronicles (2001)
- Collectibles: Highlander: The Card Game (La Montagnard Inc.)
- Fan derivative works: film, fiction, etc.
- PLEASE NOTE: I received essays on both the first film and Queen’s music, so please refrain from submitting abstracts primarily focused on those topics. I am seeking essays that discuss the myriad of other aspects of the franchise - the sequels, television series, books, etc.
Essays that take an interdisciplinary approach to the subject matter and/or can apply a variety of lenses and frameworks, such as, but not limited to, are encouraged:
- Close textual analysis
- Comparative analysis
- Cult/secret societies
- Cultural and ethnic
- Fandom and fan studies
- Film studies
- Gender/LGBTQIA+ and identity/representation studies
- Historic analysis
- Literature studies
- Media and communications
- Media Sociology
- Racial studies
The editor will review multiple abstract submissions to assemble the most cohesive arrangement of entertaining/insightful essays that will provide a well-rounded exploration and representation of this popular franchise. Additionally, the editor is seeking essays that balance an academic and armchair enthusiast tone to ensure the widest audience appeal.
- The editor will be utilizing Microsoft Word’s Track Changes function to record all edits. It will be the writer’s responsibility to resolve each edit and submit a final clean essay.
- Contributors will receive a complimentary book copy when published. Postage will be paid by the editor.
- For team written essays, keep to a maximum of two co-authors.
- The editor encourages the widest possible diverse representation to submit to this call for papers.
Please direct all correspondence to:
Michele Brittany, Editor
Michele Brittany is an independent popular culture scholar and editor of the Bram Stoker nominated Horror in Space: Critical Essays on a Film Subgenre (2017, McFarland), James Bond and Popular Culture: Essays on the Influence of the Fictional Superspy (2014, McFarland), and co-editor of Horror Literature from Gothic to Post-Modern: Critical Essays (2020, McFarland). She is a podcaster who co-hosts/produces the H.P. Lovecast Podcast and co-hosts the monthly Scholars from the Edge of Time. She has served as moderator and panelist at such popular culture events as Stokercon, San Diego Comic-Con International, and Wondercon, and she has presented her academic work at the Ann Radcliffe Academic Conference, Comic Arts Conference series, and Southwest Popular/American Culture Association.