CfP: Love, Loss, and Trauma: The Horror of Mike Flanagan

Call for Papers:
Love, Loss, and Trauma: The Horror of Mike Flanagan
Editor: Karrȧ Shimabukuro

Mike Flanagan’s works, both extended series and movies, have provided fresh ideas in a genre that seems more concerned lately with rebooting, remaking, and rewriting, ideas and stories and characters that are familiar to audiences and solid bets for the box office. Flanagan’s works present new stories, even if connections can be made to classic horror, like the connections many made between Midnight Mass and Stephen King’s works. Somehow his series and movies manage to balance the homage with new storytelling. Many of Flanagan’s series like The Haunting of HIll House (2019), The Haunting of Bly Manor (2020), and The Fall of the House of Usher (pending) are very clear about their Gothic roots while also reminding audiences that what lies so often beneath the surface of horror is loss, grief, trauma, and love, ideas that the Gothic always understood.

For this collection I am looking for chapters that examine all of Flanagan’s works from Ghosts of Hamilton Street (2003), Oculus (2013), Gerald’s Game (2017), The Haunting of HIll House (2019), Doctor Sleep (2019), The Haunting of Bly Manor (2020), Midnight Mass (2021), to The Fall of the House of Usher (pending). Chapters that consider the Gothic in his works, or trace actors across series and movies, or how he uses classic horror tropes and expectations as red herrings, are all of interest.

Topics for contributions can address, but are not limited to:

  • Analysis of individual movies and series
  • Examination of how the actors Flanagan uses connect the universes of his work
  • How Flanagan’s works deal with love, trauma, and loss
  • The Gothic foundation of his works
  • The role of women
  • The role of addiction and recovery
  • The lack of diversity in his works, especially for the missed chance these representations had to address head on how race has always haunted the Gothic.

I will ensure that this edited collection does not just have solid representation but actively works to provide a space for scholars who have historically been marginalized. Therefore I ask when you email your proposal of roughly 350 words that you include a detailed bio so I can ensure the collection has women, queer, and scholars of color as the majority. Submission date: 1 December 2022 to Karrá Shimabukuro (khkshimabukuro /at/

Anticipate first drafts (6,000-8,000 words) by 1 October 2023.