CFP: Blackwell Companion to Film Noir

Companion to Film Noir
edited by Andrew Spicer and Helen Hanson
Blackwell’s ‘Companions to Film Genre’ Series

As a disputed category, film noir has generated a lively interest and debate ever since the term was first used post-war France. The films that constitute the (contested) canon of film noir continue to be highly valued and enjoyed, and to produce a formidable body of commentary. Although American ‘Classic' noir (1940-59) continues to create intense interest, in the last fifteen years the understanding of film noi has widened to include neo-noir (American film noir produced after 1959), film noirs in other countries (in Europe, Asia, Latin America and Australasia), and noir in other forms: comics and graphic novels, posters, radio, television and videogames, all of which now constitute what James Naremore in More than Night: Film Noir in its Contexts (1998/2008) identifies as a global and interrelated ‘noir mediascape’. Since its tentative beginnings in the late 1970s, critical (and populist) discussion of film noir has become so extensive that a major overview is now necessary.

The ‘Companion to Film Noir’ will treat noir as a dynamic cultural form that is a global phenomenon that exists in multiple contexts, and will attempt to map this wide terrain by situating film noir within its various historical, political, social, cultural and industrial contexts. The scope of each essay is intended to be wide-ranging, the exploration of a topic rather than a particular film-maker or film, and thus to scrutinize critically existing debates and develop them further, extending analysis into new areas. We wish to encourage contributors to take intellectual risks rather than repeating the tried and tested, and to be guided by the overarching question:

what is the current state of play in film noir studies and how could it be developed most productively?

By bringing together approximately 30 essays from an international range of scholars, it is intended that the Companion will become a central text in film noir studies, one that consolidates existing work in a number of important areas, but also develops and extends that work and sets the agenda for future studies.

General areas the book covers:
  • Theoretical approaches to film noir and neo-noir
  • A cultural history of film noir: film noir’s hybrid histories/influences
  • American film noir and neo-noir
  • Production and reception context
  • C2) Subject matter, themes and representation
  • Noir in other media forms/global noir
For a list of identified topics, see the full call for papers.

Each essay should be a maximum of 8,000 words; due date: 31 January 2011. If you would like to be considered for inclusion in the volume please send a short abstract (c. 300 words) on one of these suggested topics by 31 December 2009. We are also open to alternative suggestions and modifications of the topics as outlined.

Please send to:
Dr Andrew Spicer (University of the West of England): Andrew2.Spicer - AT -
Dr Helen Hanson (University of Exeter): H.M.Hanson - AT -


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