Call for Chapter Proposals for Edited Collection -- Retreating to the (Modern) Past: Vintage and Cottagecore Lifestyles in the Digital Era

deadline for submissions: 
May 22, 2023
full name / name of organization: 
Clare Douglass Little
contact email: 

Modern life has become defined in many ways by our digital experiences, and it is in this technological environment that a retreat to an idealized version of the past has been increasingly realized and depicted through social media. The distinctive aesthetics of cottagecore, dark and light academia, and vintage movements represent creative cross sections through which individuals blend pop culture, literature, fantasy, art, and lifestyle elements in an often fantastical, romanticized, or idealized version of the past—one inherently informed by and expressed through a modern, digital present. Although embracing idealized versions of the past is not new and can be seen in the art and poetry of the Victorians, these modern movements have dramatically increased in recent COVID-pandemic years and are distinctively modern given their hybrid, seemingly contradictory nature. Social media is how these seemingly simplified lifestyles are shared by content creators and experienced by followers, and each movement, in various ways, represents a reaction to the current cultural and historical moment. Retreating to the (Modern) Past: Vintage and Cottagecore Lifestyles in the Digital Era explores such movements by examining their cultural and social significance today.


Please submit proposals for essays that explore modern expressions of or commentary on the following:


  • Cottagecore, farmcore, and/or countrycore
  • Vintage style and lifestyle
  • Dark and/or light academia
  • Identity creation and shared self-discovery
  • Lifestyle or aesthetics content
  • Fashion history
  • Social media focusing on the “simple life” (potentially featuring agriculture, baking, crafting, etc.)
  • Arts and crafts
  • “Romanticizing life” content
  • Literary and historical influences
  • Gender and sexuality
  • Digital community and fandom
  • Diversity and expressions of the past
  • Aesthetics and lifestyle channels as social commentary


Send your questions about the book or submit your brief description of the essay/chapter to Clare Douglass Little at The chapter proposal should consist of a short abstract (200-250 words), chapter title, and brief biography highlighting your research interests and previous publications.