Archive for 2019

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[Commlist] Call for book proposals -- Queer Film Classics

Wed Oct 30 23:28:15 GMT 2019


You can't keep a good book series down.

We, Thomas Waugh and Matthew Hays, invite you to propose a book for “Queer Film Classics: the Sequel,” which we are undertaking with McGill Queen’s University Press, Montreal. We launched our Queer Film Classics series of small one-film monographs on individual films with Arsenal Pulp Press (Vancouver) in 2008, and completed its 19-edition run in 2019.

Our new publisher, McGill-Queen’s University Press, we expect to produce a diverse set of approximately ten new titles to appear between 2020 and 2025. Waugh has brought out several books with this well-established academic publisher, innovative and queer-friendly. Please visit their site at  for further information.

We hope you have a queer classic film that you’ve always wanted to write a slim volume on and will send us an expression of interest by January 1 2020. This should take the shape of:  a 500-word proposal; a brief timeline (e.g. “I want to write on Christopher Strong for the 2022 round, with my submission deadline on May 1 2021); and a brief bio or c.v. We will respond to your proposal within a month of receiving it.

We're looking for passionate writers (both those with established track records and relative newbies are welcome to apply) with their choice of an LGBTQ2IA film and their rationale for according it book-length analysis/attention.

The QFC series has championed writing that is rigorous and accessible. Each book is normally comprised of three sections, focusing respectively on i) historical, authorial and production context, ii) textual analysis, and iii) an open ended essay developing the author’s personal interests, perhaps a subjective reading of the work’s sexual identity discourses or reception. We emphasize good writing, personal but scholarly.

Past volumes have included older classics like Strangers on a Train and Scorpio Rising, landmark documentaries like Paris is Burning, plus more recent popular fare from underrecognized national traditions like C.R.A.Z.Y. We have had a strong representation from cinematic canons of both Canada, given our publishing and funding context, and the global south, and have explored most of the letters in the day’s current alphabet acronym LGBTQ2IA, in terms of both our authors and our focused film titles.

We were originally imitating three BFI Film Classics series, but developed our own identity and impact, of which we are very proud along with our 21 fabulous authors. We are excluding the possibility of overlapping any films that are covered by the BFI or the similar “Cultographies” and “Devil’s Advocates” series. Please see below a list of “queer-ish” titles covered by six existing single-film monograph series, for which we will not accept submissions.

Your “expression of interest” can address one of the films on our long database of suggested titles (see below), or something we have overlooked. Our criteria for selection are indicated in the attached proposal, and we will evaluate each proposal on its own merits as well as on the significance of the selected film, and on the overall composition of the series in relation to national origin and cultural representation (i.e. we don’t want a series on ten Randal Kleiser films). The series emphasizes feature fiction films, but we hope to include some documentary and experimental work and perhaps porn (The 2009-2019 roster included one book on pornography and we continue to be open to this genre). Please note that while Italian and Spanish films are well represented in our initial roster, other European films are not. Given our embrace of “classic,” we will likely continue our practice of not prioritizing films made within the last decade, except on an exceptional basis. Otherwise we leave the definition of “classic” to be defined and negotiated by our individual authors. We will also likely continue our practice of including only films that are available to prospective readers in some way, whether by DVD or streaming, etc

We envisage each volume as being between 30,000 and 50,000 words in length, plus endmatter. The books will be peer reviewed as they are published with a university press and publication will be subject to approval on scholarly grounds based on peer review.  But as with earlier Queer Film Classics books, they will equally distinctive for their accessibility, avoidance of jargon, and openness to a crossover trade readership of buffs and non-specialists. We expect each volume to include approximately thirty production stills or frame enlargements from the film or other relevant illustrations, normally in black and white.

If we invite submission of your manuscript, the book will be placed under contract by McGill-Queen’s and an advance contract for the book will be issued.  You can expect the book to benefit from our role as series editors and you will work directly with an acquisitions editor at McGill-Queen’s once the manuscript is complete and ready to submit.

Kindly send us your “expression of interest” by January 1 2020 at (thomas.waugh /at/ and (matthew.hays /at/ as well as to MQUP Editor in Chief Jonathan Crago at (jonathan.crago /at/ We hope you will seriously consider joining us on this renewed pleasurable and momentous publishing adventure
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