Call for Papers for a Theme Issue of the Journal of American Culture: Fear and Anxiety in American Culture
American fears, whether real or imagined, have never been the sole province of horror novels or movies. For generations, Americans have consistently demonstrated deep-seated fears in multiple areas of life ranging from politics, religion, economics, race, gender, literature, and the arts. Consider, for example, the changing face of monsters in American culture, whether they are identified as witches in Puritan New England or those with differing political and ideological positions in the present day. Sometimes, Americans even turn their fears into popular crusades against political platforms, popular literature and film, and causes or individuals deemed to be overly powerful or controversial. Scholars have long demonstrated that understanding the nature and purpose of fear or anxiety often requires careful study within a range of approaches, including those stemming from cultural studies, history, literature, psychology, anthropology, gender studies, and many others. In this theme issue of The Journal of American Culture, we want to examine the current state of scholarly inquiry into the place of fear and anxiety within American culture by considering questions such as: What are Americans afraid of generally? What are we afraid of right now? How are our thoughts, actions, and politics, shaped by the things we fear most? How have our fears changed over the centuries?
We welcome submissions for this theme issue from a wide variety of critical approaches and topics including, but not limited to, literature, film, history, sociology, economics, cultural studies, anthropology, monster theory, psychology, posthumanism, gender studies, and horror studies. We are especially interested in interdisciplinary work that highlights problems of fear across various media or disciplines.
Submissions, generally 15-25 pages in length, are to be original scholarly manuscripts formatted according to MLA style guidelines using in-text citations with author’s name and page number. Endnotes and works cited should appear at the end of the paper. In light of space limitations, please avoid excessive use of footnotes.
This issue will be edited by Carl H. Sederholm (email@example.com); please direct all questions to him.
The deadline for submission is December 31, 2015, and the issue will appear in March 2017.