Cinema: Journal of Philosophy and the Moving Image welcomes submissions to its 13th issue on The Leftovers, Philosophy and Pop Culture. This issue will be dedicated to explore the philosophical questions of The Leftovers (2014-2017), created by Damon Lindelof and Tom Perrotta. It has been widely regarded as “this decade’s best existentialist television work” (Lucien WD 2017) and a series that “dares you to keep watching, and feeling” (Matt Zoller Seitz 2014). But, although it has received critical acclaim, less attention has been given to its theoretical, philosophical and theological dimensions. This issue will privilege essays that endorse the relation between philosophy and pop culture: how to “meld popular genres with philosophical meditations” (Noël Carroll 2013)?
The Leftovers begins three years after the disappearance of 2% of the world’s population. However, Lindelof and Perrotta are not much interested in explaining how the “sudden departed” has happened. What is significant is what happens after the “sudden departed”. In a 2017 interview with TIME magazine, Lindelof said: “There’s a difference between “Who killed Laura Palmer?,” which is a mystery the show owes us, and requires an explanation, and then, “What is the meaning of life and why is this character behaving the way they are?,” The more you explain, the more ridiculous it seems, because everybody behaves in ridiculous ways that don’t make any sense.”
Being truthful with Lindelof’s words, Cinema does not want to explain the mystery but, repeating the title of the second season’s opening theme, to “let the mystery be” and to problematize its deliberately philosophical themes, the way it contributes to the philosophical significance of popular culture, and eventually to explore The Leftovers as a “colossal thought experiment” (Sophie Gilbert 2014). But how to relate philosophical and artistic thought experiments? Subjects of interest include the following concepts/problems:
. Nihilism and Skepticism
. Atheistic and Christian Existentialism
. The Absurd and the Death of God
. Luck, Coincidence and Arbitrariness vs Teleology
. Pilgrimage and the Nomadic way of life
. Science vs Faith: unsolved conflict?
. Death, Grief, Remembrance
. Suicide, Human Finitude and Transience
Submissions are accepted in English, Portuguese and French and should be sent to Susana Viegas (firstname.lastname@example.org). Prospective authors should submit a short CV along with the abstract. Abstract proposals (max. 500 words) are due on February 1st, 2021, and a notice of acceptance will be sent to the authors in the second week of February. A selection of authors will be invited to submit full papers according to the journal’s guidelines. Acceptance of the abstract does not guarantee publication, since all papers will be subjected to double blind peer-review. For further information or questions about the issue, please contact the editor.