CFP: Special Issue, Monstrum 5.2 : Short-Form Horror: History, Pedagogy, and Practice
Drs. Alanna Thain (McGill University) and Sonia Lupher (University of Pittsburgh)
From TV to TikTok, movie trailers to music videos, and GIFs to short films, the short for dominates most of our media consumption. The horror genre is ripe for experimentation in the short form, through screamer videos, short stories and flash fiction, television series, and even commercials. Today, most horror creators work primarily in the short form; with the continuingly prohibitive costs associated with a sustained feature-length filmmaking career, many filmmakers and creators—particularly those marginalized by race, gender, or socioeconomic status—prefer, or are compelled, to explore the creative and professional possibilities of short-form media. While the number of BIPOC, queer, and women-identifying creators who have established and successful careers in horror filmmaking remain few and far between, the short-form market is brimming with content from these often marginalized voices and is, therefore, one of the most productive media niches for theorizing issues of race, gender, sexuality, disability, and the intersectionality of these identifiers in the horror genre. In attending to the richness of the short form, how can scholars, makers and curators not simply diversify the content and canon of horror as a field, but also challenge our assumptions of how we read, analyze, consumer and react to horror media However, the saturation of independently-created media online and other platforms also presents limitations and challenges, above all the difficulty to curate and spread information about content, creators, and titles. Organized and curated services such as Shudder and YouTube’s “Alter” channel attempt to counteract the populated video heaps on services such as Amazon Prime and Vimeo. Scouring through the titles on many of these services can be unproductive and unwieldy, despite the growing interest among professionals and instructors to create and screen short-form horror in courses and for use in digital humanities projects. The challenges and productive avenues of studying short-form horror intersect with those of studying the short form at large, itself a diverse topic of study due to the multiple forms, genres, and cultural contexts that comprise it. Though short-form horror is often devalued as simply a calling card to a future in features, how might we attend to the affordances of the short form’s value in itself?
This special issue therefore contributes to the intersections of study between short-form media and horror media. We invite scholars, critics, and digital creators to propose articles, interviews, or audiovisual essays that analyze and theorize short form horror texts, trends, teaching strategies, curatorial challenges and solutions, and propose new methods for the study of short-form horror. We especially welcome work by emerging and independent scholars, and from scholars or research areas currently underrepresented in the field. We invite submissions on topics including, but not limited to, the following:
• Textual analysis of short-form or serial horror texts or creators, including short films, online videos, commercials, TV series, podcasts, music videos, dance films, horror GIFs, short stories, flash fiction, multimedia projects, photo essays, video essays, experimental film, etc.
• The circulation of short-form horror, including television, film festivals, online platforms, etc.
• Short-form horror curation (digital, physical, museum/festival settings, etc.)
• Interviews with short-form horror creators
• Teaching short-form horror texts and creators
• Industrial concerns (funding, production, and post-production) of short-form horror
• Intersectionality in short-form horror production, study, and pedagogy
• Histories of short-form production and distribution, including public broadcasting
Completed essays will be between 5,000 and 7,000 words, including notes and references, and formatted according to standards set out in the current Chicago Manual of Style. Please see the Monstrum website for more information on submission guidelines. In addition to written essays, we strongly welcome multimodal submissions. In your proposal, please clearly specify the format and scope of your project, including intended length and other practical information.
October 31, 2021: Proposals due to the editors: please submit an abstract of approximately 250 words, including a title and format information. Please also send a bio of approx. 100 words.
November 30, 2021: Author acceptances sent out.
July 1, 2022: Accepted essays due to the editors, with revision timeline to follow.
December 2022: Publication
Please direct questions and submissions to email@example.com (please include “Monstrum Short Form” in subject line).