Author Topic: Call for Papers - Essays on Westworld Deadline: 2019-03-01  (Read 353 times)


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Call for Papers - Essays on Westworld Deadline: 2019-03-01
« on: February 07, 2019, 09:27:01 PM »
Call for Essays: Westworld: Manufactured Humanities, Dreams, and Nightmares

Note: Though Westworld is not a horror series, the call is from an HWA member, so it is being shared here. Please consider submitting.

One of HBO’s most successful series, Westworld is visually stunning and beautifully performed. Behind the gorgeous set and amazing effects, is a show that asks viewers to think about much of what we take for granted. Amongst its many themes, Westworld contemplates how stories shape so much of our existence.  What do stories mean to us as individual memories, shared experiences, as structures for morality and religion, and when mythologized, how do they form backdrops to civilizations? Is humanity even possible without stories and storytelling?

In this call for papers, I am looking for essays between 5000-7000 words (minimum and maximum word counts set for uniformity) that will explore this theme. Selected essays will serve as individual chapters in the completed book.

While the focus is on the HBO series, the films (Westworld and Futureworld) may be referenced and discussed as long as there is a strong connection to the series.

Essay topics and approaches can include, but are not limited to:

• Fan Studies and Fandom—fan theories, observations, and how the relationship between fans and creators influenced the show
• Story Theory—storytelling techniques within the show, fractured storylines, the blending individual host stories as they remember their many past “lives”, Simon’s role as “Narrative Director”, etc.
• Gender and Sexuality within the context of the show
• Marxist readings
• Sentience and humanity
• Morality and/or philosophy of the hosts, Delos employees, or corporate executives and how their competing interests developed throughout
• Comparison/contrast to Shelley’s Frankenstein
• Representations of race and identity of both the Delos employees, hosts, and guests
• Representations of religion and theology
• Explorations of the show’s references to Philip K. Dick, Matrix, video games, and others
• Technology
• The world within the world of the parks system
• Afterlife and immortality
• Individuality, conformity, and freedom
• Genre Studies—Is Westworld a Western? How does it fit into the genre? How does it challenge and deconstruct the genre to explore what Westerns say about America?
• Anachronisms and verisimilitude—how do the parks create and maintain the illusion of “another world” while reminding viewers (and park guests) that it is, in fact not real?

Please submit your 250-500 word abstract and a brief bio to: with Westworld Abstract in the subject line.

Please note the following deadlines and publication schedule:

Abstract deadline: March 1, 2019
Notification of acceptance (Style guides issued): March 15, 2019
Essay Deadline: June 15, 2019
Revisions due: September 15, 2019
Final Manuscript to McFarland Press: February 15, 2020
PEER REVIEW: Some Essays may need additional revisions after peer review (deadline TBD)

Unfortunately, I am unable to offer any extensions. Kindly adhere to this schedule.