The films of Peter Watkins


Email: (watkinsmonoform /at/ <mailto:(watkinsmonoform /at/>

Deadline for submissions: June 1^st 2022

We invite chapter proposals (300-500 words) for an edited volume of critical essays dealing with film director Peter Watkins to be published as part of the University of Edinburgh /ReFocus/series (series editors Robert Singer, Stefanie Van de Peer, and Gary D. Rhodes) which examines overlooked international directors and brings them to a constellation of new discourses.

From beginnings in the short film and a pair of landmark docudramas for the BBC (/Culloden/and /The War Game/) to a rich and varied nomadic phase taking in narrative fiction, US production, embrace by Scandinavian nations, and capped by a fruitful and committed late career unbound by questions of duration and representational strategy – Watkins has been a touchstone director for film and documentary pedagogy, as well as influencing practitioners in the fictional and factual realms.

Watkins, who also taught at a number of institutes throughout his career as a practitioner, developed a parallel theory of the ‘monoform’ – the gradual and potentially irreversible elision of multiple media forms and flows into a mass hegemonic language. Though deeply self-critical and pessimistic in tone, how might we reinterpret Watkins and the contemporary media landscape through these ideas?

We are looking for proposals (300-500 words) for original chapters that either critically elucidates a work in the Watkins filmography, or finds an original intersecting context in which to analyse a number of Watkins’ works.

A non-exhaustive list of suggestions:

  •   Possible futures in documentary
  •   Docudrama and ‘the real’
  •   Watkins and formal restriction and expansion: the short, the longform film, the collaboration
  •   Peace and pacifism
  •   Deconstructing and reconstructing public image
  •   The collective protagonist
  •   The BBC and creative freedom
  •   The monoform and social media


Feel free to propose a different approach entirely. Final chapters will be between 6000-8000 words.

Proposed timeline

  • June 1 – deadline for abstracts/CVs
  • July 1 – response from editors
  • October 30 (all subsequent dates provisional) – submission of chapters
  • December 30 – returned with​ revisions
  • January 30 2023 – resubmission (if required)


Interested scholars should send a 300-500 word proposal and a 150 word bio by June 1st, 2022, to Daniel Brookes at: (watkinsmonoform /at/

Daniel Brookes is a lecturer in film and television at the University of Worcester and the University of Bristol. He has an upcoming publication in /Crime Fiction Studies/ regarding narrative form in the Netflix hit series /Making a Murderer/.