CALL FOR PAPERS
Global James Bond
Lisa Funnell and Klaus Dodds
According to David Bordwell in Planet Hong Kong (2000), “a truly global cinema is one that claims significant space” in film markets around the world (82) beyond a film series (e.g. IP Man), cycle (e.g. kung fu craze of the 1970s), or era (e.g. “golden age” of Hong Kong cinema in the 1980s and 1990s). While Hollywood is the only industry that meets this narrow definition, we question if a partial exception or even expanded demarcation could be made for the James Bond franchise given its long-term popularity, widespread cinematic influence, revenue generation, and cultural viability for nearly 6 decades or half of cinematic history.
As the Bond films have been released in more and more markets, the franchise has increasingly relied on audiences outside of the UK and US (such as China) for the majority of its box-office revenue. This was most evident when MGM contemplated releasing No Time To Die in November 2020 even as the cinemas of the UK and US were closing in response to the coronavirus. When additional countries began imposing restrictions that would impact cinema attendance, the release date for the film was pushed to April 2021.
However, the discussion of Global James Bond needs to move beyond box-office performance to consider how institutional, aesthetic, financial, and/or actor-based frameworks and investments make this global mobility possible. The global is even written in the storylines with Bond undermining global terrorist organizations (like SPECTRE) as well as individual megalomaniacs with plans to change, alter, or destroy the current world order. At the same time, more concentrated attention needs to be directed towards examining how the films are consumed, reimagined, and even contested in different sites and spaces. James Bond might “go global” (cinematically and narratively) but the films can have distinctly local readings based on subtitles and/or dubbing choices, censorship practices, and even different cultural milieus influencing spectatorship. There is a fascinating and at times controversial interplay between the global and the national/regional/local in the world of Bond (e.g. controversies in both North and South Korea with Die Another Day in 2002).
In 2022, the James Bond franchise will celebrate the 60th anniversary of the film series. The time is right to explore the influence of this enduring popular culture icon and highly profitable cinematic brand in expanded and expansive ways. We are seeking essays for our transdisciplinary collection, Global James Bond, on a range of topics that include but are not limited to:
- Producing James Bond à financing, location shooting/enactments, set design, dubbing and translation (of individual actors and for foreign language markets)
- Representing James Bond à casting choices for supportive and villainous figures, Bond and technology, Bond on location, Bond and the ‘special relationship’
- Circulating James Bond à market access, local/regional/national engagement with Bond, global screenings, fan culture, political controversies, censorship/regional readings, poster design
- Reimagining James Bond à rivals/alternatives to Bond in other texts and local/regional/national markets (e.g. Max Otto von Stirlitz, Avakoum Zahov, Jane Bond films in Hong Kong)
- Contesting James Bond à intersectional debates, post-imperial debates, fantasies of power
- Marketing and Merchandising James Bond – video games, toys, tourism, global James Bond day, product placement, lifestyle advice
We strongly encourage scholars from around the world to submit an abstract. Our goal is to produce a transnational collection on Global James Bond from a range of voices and perspectives.
Please submit a 250 word abstract along with a short author bio to Lisa Funnell (firstname.lastname@example.org) by March 1, 2021. Please direct any questions or inquiries to this email as well.