Call for Chapters: On the Highway to Hell and Back: Critical Essays on the Television Series Supernatural

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Supernatural, now in its seventh season, has gained a cult status and has spawned comic books, novels, fan fiction, and an assortment of companion books. Like other cult TV shows before it, such as The X-files, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and Angel, part of the series’ success lies in the way it combines plot and character with serious investigations of folklore, myth, religion, psychology, and family dynamics. Supernatural’s story arcs have dealt with, and commented on, issues as diverse as fan culture, sexual orientation, father/son conflict, the changing nature of the U.S. family, and the Apocalypse. This collection of critical essays will be thematic in nature, focusing on the social, psychological, philosophical, religious and mythic themes of the series. Specifically it will examine how the series addresses horror in a postmodern context through character and story as well as the recurring use of symbols and plot devices such as the music, cars, the crossroads, biblical texts and religious icons.

Possible topics include but are not limited to the following:

• Representations of mythic and folkloric themes: fairy tales, non-Western folklore, urban myth/legend, shape shifters
• Representations of religious themes: God/gods, angels, demons, Satan, Book of Revelations, Western and non-Western religious themes etc
• Monsters and the monstrous in Supernatural
• Gender and sexuality
• Representations of mortality: personifications of Death, reapers, ghosts
• Family: fathers/sons, mothers, family/domesticity as safety, family as danger/curse hunting as “family business.”
• Post-modernist themes: self-referential humor, the writer as God, representations of fans and fanfiction in the series
• Literary themes: Dracula, Biblical stories, vengeful spirits, the woman in white
• Music in Supernatural: original soundtrack and Dean’s “car tunes”

Please contact Susan A. George (sageorge13@yahoo.com) and Regina Hansen (rhansen@bu.edu) with questions or brief description (no more that 25 words) of your topic and a current CV before submitting an abstract. One-page Abstracts Due June 20th, 2012. First complete draft (15-20 pages plus works cited) due by September 20th, 2012.

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