Call for Papers
Taylor Sheridan’s Wests
Writing for Deadline in a piece conceived as a “Welcome to Taylor Sheridan’s universe,” Mike Fleming characterized the actor-turned-writer/director’s rapidly growing oeuvre as “a place different from any other in the Hollywood landscape.” What makes Sheridan and his television shows and movies ‘different’ is the simple fact that they are positioned in the current entertainment landscape as west of the rest. His writing and directorial credits have coalesced around Western spaces, lifeworlds, and characters, ranging from his breakthrough script for Sicario (2015) to the television phenomenon that is Yellowstone (2018–), which has become a beachhead for an evolving ecology of television content (1883 [2021–], 1932 [forthcoming], 6666 [forthcoming], etc.). Seeking to highlight the fastest-growing geo-cultural region in the United States, Taylor Sheridan advances expansive views of the West that are deliberately complex, difficult, and challenging. In short, his creative output posits that the West, with its interweavings of history and mythography, matters.
Consequently, the proposed book project seeks to assemble a collection of original contributions (6,000-8,000 words) which map and assess Taylor Sheridan’s Wests. We welcome equally proposals for works that pursue thematic through-lines cutting across Sheridan’s growing catalogue and for in-depth readings of individual movie and/or television titles. We invite proposals from scholars at all stages of their careers. Possible topic areas and/or themes include but are by no means limited to:
Shedding light on the effects of the Necrocene/Capitalocene in the West
(Mis)representing Native American lifeworlds and sovereignty (e.g. Land Back discourses, the pathology of settler colonialism, etc.)
Excavating “flyover country” from mainstream neglect
Spatial liminalities: border crossings, border spaces, liminal characters
Post-West(ern) poetics, revisionist discourses, the appeal and pitfalls of western nostalgia
Tall tales, western humor, cowboy antics
Sheridan’s Wests as New-New American Gothic?
Sheridan’s “authenticity work” (e.g. livestock raising, husbandry, and horsemanship economies, sartorial aesthetics and accoutrements of Western life, firearms, extraction and surveillance technologies, etc.)
Ecocritical readings of Sheridan’s work (e.g. land ownership versus stewardship, human-non-human interfaces, etc.)
Masculinities, aging, toxic, redemptive, and otherwise
Ethics of law and/or justice
Violence and exploitation: abject spaces, bodies, and acts
Transmedia (f)ranchising and fandom: intersections between texts, paratexts (e.g. podcasts, aftershows, etc.), and invested audiences (e.g. Yellowstone fanfiction, social media, etc.)
Sonic Wests: soundscapes, soundtracks, etc.
If you are interested in proposing a chapter, please email an abstract of 500–700 words to firstname.lastname@example.org. Your abstract should outline your working thesis and briefly sketch the theoretical/methodological framework(s) within which your chapter will be situated. All submissions will be acknowledged. If you do not receive a confirmation of receipt within 48 hours, you may assume that your email fell prey to the vagaries of the world wide web. In that case, please resend your abstract. Please note that we will not include previously published essays in the collection.
Feel free to contact us at the email address indicated above with any questions or concerns you might have.
June 15, 2022: abstract deadline
July 31, 2022: notification of acceptance/rejection (Please note: Acceptance of your abstract does not automatically guarantee your chapter’s inclusion in the collection.)
December 22, 2022: first drafts due
February 29, 2023: feedback on first drafts
Expected publication: 2024
Paweł Pyrka (SWPS University Warsaw)
Stefan Rabitsch (University of Graz/University of Warsaw)
Anna Warso (SWPS University Warsaw)
Nicolas S. Witschi (Western Michigan University)