Refocus: The Films of Peter Weir

deadline for submissions: 
March 31, 2024
full name / name of organization: 
Edinburgh University Press

Refocus: The Films of Peter Weir


Only 3 more weeks!!! submissions close 31 March 2024.

Over several decades, Peter Weir has directed critically acclaimed and popular films that frequently portray protagonists on the threshold of an unexplored environment that dazzles and confounds. Yet despite his global profile, Weir’s work remains relatively understudied. Only a handful of books have exclusively addressed his career in toto and only one scholarly volume has been published since his most recent film was released over a decade ago. In a career that can be categorized as having two distinct phases (Australian trailblazer and Hollywood maverick), many of Weir’s films are distinguished by their financial success. This run of box office accomplishments was established in Australia with Picnic at Hanging Rock (1975) and was repeated at the international level several times during Weir’s extended American excursion with films including Witness (1985); Dead Poets Society (1989); The Truman Show (1999); and Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World(2003). Working across a range of genres from early engagement with low-budget horror (Homesdale, 1971, The Cars that Ate Paris, 1974) and documentary (Whatever Happened to Green Valley?, 1973) to the epic sweep of his prison escape adventure, The Way Back (2010), there is throughout Weir’s diverse oeuvre a tangible sense of thematic connection and authorial voice across his eclectic choices. 

This proposed ReFocus edited collection will consider papers on the films of Peter Weir. Some of the themes that authors can consider are:

  • Weir and literary adaptation
  • Postcolonialism
  • Cross-cultural (mis)communication
  • Weir and the Australian Wave
  • Weir and Hollywood 
    • Australian Identity in the international context
    • Australians in Hollywood
    • Auteurism
    • Representation of Women
    • Genre
    • The Hollywood star in Weir’s films
    • Ensemble casts
    • Television work
    • First nations representation
    • Mise-en-scène
    • Ecology and environment
    • Soundscapes
    • Additional approaches are welcome.
      • While abstracts relating to any Weir films are still welcome, at this point, more interest in Witness (1985)Fearless (1993)The Truman Show (1998) and Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World (2003) is particularly welcome.

If you have any questions regarding the topics, please feel free to discuss with the editor. The suggested themes are not exhaustive.

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Deadline for abstracts: March 31st 2024

Proposals of approximately 200-500 words are invited for the proposed project to be submitted to Edinburgh University Press as part of the Refocus Series on International Directors. Series editors are Drs. Robert Singer, Stefanie Van de Peer, and Gary D. Rhodes. The deadline for ab­stract submission is March 31st, 2024. Please send your proposals, accompanied by a 100-150 word author “bio”, to Dr. Russell Edwards via Upon approval, accepted contributors are expected to submit their full chap­ters of approximately 6,000 to 8,000 words for the refereed anthology, referenced in Chicago endnote style, by December 31st, 2024.

The editor of this volume, Dr Russell Edwards is a Sydney-based writer whose pre-academic career included many years working as a film critic, including a decade with the international trade paper, Variety.