The Oxford Handbook of Black Horror Film
Drs. Robin R. Means Coleman & Novotny Lawrence
Since the release of Jordan Peele’s Academy Award-winning horror hit, Get Out (2017), interest in Black horror films has erupted. This renewed intrigue in the stories of Black life, history, and culture, or ‘Blackness’ has taken two forms. First, the history and politics of race has been centered in the genre. Second, Black horror has become an increasingly visible topic in mainstream discourses with scholars, critics, and fans contending that Black horror is seeing its “renaissance.”
However, in the U.S., critical attention to Blackness in horror has primarily focused on the U.S. and western world; this, despite the fact that Blacks and Black stories have featured prominently in the genre– as actors, screenwriters, directors, producers—globally and across cultures. We invite contributions that explore Global Black horror cinema, across media platforms (e.g., theatrical releases, streaming services, etc.), by interrogating Blackness and the ways in which it manifests in films across the diaspora and around the world. Ours is an ambitious goal: to present a collection that leaves no continent unexamined.
This project is under contract with Oxford University Press.
We invite interested contributors to propose essays by submitting 250-word abstracts, along with 3 keywords. Example questions/themes include:
● How are taxonomies of race presented? Who is considered ‘Black?’ How is Blackness constructed in the culture(s) in which it is produced and/or distributed?
● How is ‘horror’ defined and represented globally and/or culturally? What textual role does Blackness play in horror?
○ Transgression—excess, disrupting temporalities, disrupting corporeality, appropriation, colorism, arriving at Blackness through blindcasting
○ Liberation—reflecting on responses to oppression
○ Sound—Examining the use of scores and soundtracks in Black horror films.
○ Adaptation—transformation of stories from one source to the Black horror film
To receive full consideration, please submit abstracts to Globalhorrorcinema@gmail.com by August 1, 2021. For those accepted into the collection, first drafts of essays will be due on January 14, 2022. Upon publication, contributors to the collection will receive a modest honorarium for their work.
Dr. Robin R. Means Coleman is Northwestern University’s Vice President and Associate Provost for Diversity and Inclusion and the Ida B. Wells and Ferdinand Barnett Professor in the Department of Communication Studies. Dr. Coleman is widely published, to include her book, Horror Noire: Blacks in American Horror Films from the 1890s to Present (2011, Routledge) Dr. Coleman’s (co-executive producer) documentary film, Horror Noire, made its international premiere in 2019 to critical acclaim. To-date, Horror Noire has won the 2020 Rondo Hatton Award for Best Documentary and the 2019 FearNyc Trailblazer Award.
Dr. Novotny Lawrence is an Associate Professor at Iowa State University where he holds a joint appointment between the Greenlee School of Journalism and Communication and the English Department. He is widely published and his research primarily centers on African American cinematic and mediated experiences. Dr. Lawrence is the author of Blaxploitation Films of the 1970s: Blackness and Genre (Routledge, 2007), the editor of Documenting the Black Experience (McFarland, 2014), and the co-editor of Beyond Blaxploitation (Wayne State University Press, 2016).
—–Robin R. Means Coleman, PhDNorthwestern UniversityVice President & Associate Provost of Diversity and InclusionIda B. Wells and Ferdinand Barnett Professor of Communication Studies
In the spirit of healing, I acknowledge and honor the Potawatomi, Odawa, and Ojibwe Tribes, the original people of the land upon which Northwestern University stands.