CFP: Media Reviewers and Papers - Middle West Review (fall 2022 issue)

deadline for submissions: 
April 15, 2022
full name / name of organization: 
Adam Ochonicky / Middle West Review
contact email: 



Middle West Review (MWR) is a peer-reviewed, interdisciplinary journal that examines the American Midwest. The journal is published biannually by the University of Nebraska Press.


MWR is seeking scholars to review media texts that engage with midwestern identity, history, and culture. From popular films and television series to online exhibitions and digital archives, MWR spotlights Midwest-oriented media texts in each issue. We welcome reviews of texts from our list below, as well as texts that are not currently on the list (including films and television series from across the histories of both mediums).


We accept rolling submissions of media reviews, review essays, and scholarly articles:


-       Media reviews should be 900-1,500 words.

-       Review essays should be 2,000-3,000 words. These pieces may address multiple texts or more thoroughly consider a single film, television series, or other media object.

-       Scholarly articles should be 3,500-10,000 words. As an interdisciplinary journal, we invite submissions that utilize methodologies from a variety of fields, including film, television, media, and literary studies.


Regarding the content of media reviews and review essays, we ask that reviewers are attentive to how a text depicts and imagines the Midwest (in addition to any other elements that the writer chooses to discuss). For instance, how does a text identify particular elements as being “midwestern”? What qualities, practices, and values are attributed to the Midwest? In what ways does the text respond to actual historical circumstances and/or engage with invented regional mythology? How does the text situate categories such as gender, race, sexuality, class, and politics in relation to the Midwest? These questions are not intended to be a checklist for reviewers; rather, these are among the broad considerations that inform MWR’s goal to deepen critical understandings of the American Midwest.



To contribute a media review or review essay (on media texts), please write to:


Adam Ochonicky, Media Review Editor


Send the titles of 1-3 preferred texts from the list below or propose a text to be reviewed. Put “Middle West Review” in the subject line of your email.



Additional information about MWR—and the submission guidelines for scholarly articles—may be found on the University of Nebraska Press website:





An American Crime (dir. Tommy O’Haver, 2007)

American Fable (dir. Anne Hamilton, 2017)

American Factory (dirs. Steven Bognar and Julia Reichert, 2019)

Anatomy of a Murder (dir. Otto Preminger, 1959)

The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford (dir. Andrew Dominik, 2007)

The Better Angels (dir. A. J. Edwards, 2014)

The Blood is at the Doorstep (dir. Erik Ljung, 2017)

Blue Collar (dir. Paul Schrader, 1978)

The Bronze (dir. Bryan Buckley, 2015)

Candyman (dir. Bernard Rose, 1992) [joint review and/or review essay on franchise]

Candyman (dir. Nia DaCosta, 2021) [joint review and/or review essay on franchise]

Capote (dir. Bennett Miller, 2005)

Child’s Play (dir. Tom Holland, 1988); Child’s Play (dir. Lars Klevberg, 2019) [joint review]

Chi-Raq (dir. Spike Lee, 2015)

Citizen Koch (dirs. Carl Deal and Tia Lessin, 2013)

Columbus (dir. Kogonada, 2017)

Detropia (dirs. Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady, 2012)

Flag Wars (dir. Linda Goode Bryant and Laura Poitras, 2003)

The Fits (dir. Anna Rose Holmer, 2015)

Gimme Danger (dir. Jim Jarmusch, 2016)

Green Fire: Aldo Leopold and a Land Ethic for Our Time (dirs. David Steinke and Steve Dunsky, 2011)

Halloween (dir. David Gordon Green, 2018) [joint review and/or review essay on franchise]

Halloween Kills (dir. David Gordon Green, 2021) [joint review and/or review essay on franchise]

Hillbilly Elegy (dir. Ron Howard, 2020)

The Homesman (dir. Tommy Lee Jones, 2014)

How to Dance in Ohio (dir. Alexandra Shiva, 2015)

The Human War (dirs. Thomas Henwood and Pirooz Kalayeh, 2011)

The Informant! (dir. Steven Soderbergh, 2009)

The Interrupters (dir. Steve James, 2011)

The Judge (dir. David Dobkin, 2014)

King of the Hill (dir. Steven Soderbergh, 1993)

Kumiko, The Treasure Hunter (dir. David Zellner, 2014)

The Last Truck: Closing of a GM Plant (dirs. Steven Bognar and Julia Reichert, 2009)

love jones (dir. Theodore Witcher, 1997)

Maggie (dir. Henry Hobson, 2015)

Manlife (dir. Ryan Sarnowski, 2017)

Midwest Muslim (dir. Brock Williams, 2006)

Milwaukee 53206: A Community Serves Time (dir. Keith McQuirter, 2016)

Monrovia, Indiana (dir. Frederick Wiseman, 2018)

The Myth of the American Sleepover (dir. David Robert Mitchell, 2010)

North By Northwest (dir. Alfred Hitchcock, 1959)

On the Downlow (dir. Tadeo Garcia, 2004)

Ordinary People (dir. Robert Redford, 1980)

The Overnighters (dir. Jesse Moss, 2014)

The Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio (dir. Jane Anderson, 2005)

Rain Man (dir. Barry Levinson, 1988)

Rich Hill (dirs. Tracy Droz Tragos and Andrew Droz Palermo, 2014)

The Rider (dir. Chloé Zhao, 2017)

Road to Perdition (dir. Sam Mendes, 2002)

RoboCop (dir. Paul Verhoeven, 1987); RoboCop (dir. Jose Padilha, 2014) [joint review]

The Sentence (dir. Rudy Valdez, 2018)

70 Acres in Chicago: Cabrini Green (dir. Ronit Bezalel, 2014)

Small Town Wisconsin (dir. Niels Mueller, 2020)

Songs My Brothers Taught Me (dir. Chloé Zhao, 2015)

Stray Dog (dir. Debra Granik, 2015)

Terms of Endearment (dir. James L. Brooks, 1983)

Up in the Air (dir. Jason Reitman, 2009)

Up There (dirs. Michael Blaustein and Daniel Weingarten

Welcome to Leith (dirs. Michael Beach Nichols and Christopher K. Walker, 2015)

What’s the Matter with Kansas? (dir. Joe Winston, 2009)

Young Adult (dir. Jason Reitman, 2011)




Television Series:


Aliens in America (CW, creators: David Guarascio and Moses Port, 2007-2008)

All-American Muslim (TLC, 2011)

America to Me (Starz, 2018)

APB (Fox, 2017)

A.P. Bio (NBC, 2018-)

Bless This Mess (ABC, 2019-)

The Chi (Showtime, 2018-)

Defiance (Syfy, 2013-2015)

Detroiters (Comedy Central, 2017-)

Easy (Netflix, 2016-)

ER (NBC, 1994-2009)

Frontline – “Poor Kids” (PBS, Season 30, Episode 20; 2012)

Girls (HBO, creator: Lena Dunham, 2012-2017) [review Season 1, Episode 6: “The Return” and/or Season 4, part of which is set in Iowa]

Glee (Fox, creators: Ian Brennan, Brad Falchuk, and Ryan Murphy, 2009-2015)

Good Times (CBS, 1974-1979)

Hot in Cleveland (TV Land, 2010-2015)

Hung (HBO, 2009-2011)

The Mary Tyler Moore Show (CBS, 1970-1977)

Masters of Sex (Showtime, 2013-2016)

Ozark (Netflix, 2017-)

The Real O’Neals (ABC, 2016-2017)

Roseanne (ABC, 1988-1997, 2018)

Sharp Objects (HBO, 2018)

Stranger Things (Netflix, 2016-)

Superstore (NBC, 2015-)

That ‘70s Show (Fox, 1998-2006)

Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt (Netflix, 2015-2019)

Undercover High (A&E, 2018-)

United States of Tara (Showtime, 2009-2011)





Made in the Middle (KIOS-FM, Omaha Public Radio):



Digital Archives and Online Exhibitions:


CB&Q: Building an Empire, Newberry Library



Civil War on the Western Border: The Missouri-Kansas Conflict, 1854-1865, The Kansas City Public Library



Frontier to Heartland, Newberry Library



Stagestruck City: Chicago’s Theater Tradition and the Birth of the Goodman, Newberry Library