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[Commlist] cfp: Horror Outside of Film/TV: Special Ed of Journal of Entertainment Media

Tue Nov 03 13:43:33 GMT 2020

This is a CFP for a special issue of 'Refractory: A Journal of Entertainment Media' that will be themed around Nightmares, Nations and Innovations. This edition will focus on horror outside of film/TV and will be published on Halloween 2021. Articles (3-8k words) will explore the ways in which the horror genre functions in all its multifarious forms outside of film/TV, to explore the synergies between the horror film and popular culture. By approaching horror away from the screen, it hopes to examine the interconnections between the complex forces at work on both sides of the horror equation: the economies of modern entertainment industries and production practice, cultural and political forums, spectators and fans.

Articles sought in and around the following areas:
- Appropriation and use of horror texts by fans
- Immersive horror & Hallowe’en experiences - Dark rides & haunted attractions
- Horror in video games or horror themed DLC & modding
- Horror podcasts
- Synergies between the horror film and popular culture
- Horror-centric social & cultural internet phenomena (Images, Memes, GIFS)
- Horror and transmedia storytelling
- Cosplay, apocalypse-ready (pandemic) fashion, Halloween costumes - Monsters as pop culture heroes & monster merchandise

Please send a short abstract and author bio to Gerard Gibson <(Gibson-G8 /at/> and John Kavanagh <(Kavanagh-J7 /at/> by Dec 11. Articles will be selected in Dec and should be completed by May.

Here's a little more info on our special edition:

Ndalianis (2012) theorises that horror is about the crossing of boundaries, suggesting that horror manifests where order falls into chaos and meaning collapses. Jowett and Abbott (2013), persuasively assert that horror has long ago successfully entered the mainstream, permeating popular culture. If these are so, have scholarly distinctions in horror been outmoded by new technologies, experiences and audience practices? Are academic distinctions in horror supported, complicated or eroded by such developments? If horror has transcended cultural boundaries can national ones be far behind? Horror films and literature are marketed internationally. Creations like Carpenter and Hill’s homicidal Michael Myers are international brands, almost global folk characters, and worth millions. Popular Halloween experiences, immersive horror and dark rides take the intellectual chills of the horror story and embody them for corporeal, haptic experience, transforming the narrative into the material, fright into flesh. Horror, Cherry (2009) reminds us, is highly adaptable, finding expression in a multitude of forms; nationally, internationally, globally and across a wide palette of media. The aesthetics of horror and cute culture collide/converge in merchandise, figures toys and GIFs. Monsters, serial killers, demons and ghosts are conventionalised on children’s clothing and as plushies. Do stories and characters remain in the hands of the creators and production companies or are they, as Jenkins (1992) argues, poached and appropriated by the fans? How does such poaching manifest in fan participation? Where do concepts of authorships sit in such a participatory culture? How have audiences taken horror and made it their own? Do narratives combine and storytelling practices intermingle? Does proliferation affect mainstream tastes and interests? Has it informed fashion? Has horror stepped off the screen and into our everyday lives? Might this erode the power of horror? If the transgressive is now the everyday, what remains taboo?

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