SHARON PACKER Announcement
Subject Fields
Film and Film History, Health and Health Care, History of Science, Medicine, and Technology, Popular Culture Studies, Psychology

Madhouses in movies have been a staple of cinema since its inception. This collection includes essays on the many manifestations of such institutions, by scholars hailing from a wide range of academic disciplines, far beyond mental health professionals. “Movies” include small and large screen media. Essays reflect on the films themselves, film genres or film history, or on filmic renditions of comics or video games. We address the sociopolitical, philosophical, and economic implications of “incarceration” in asylums, hospitals, residential treatment centers, funny farms, madhouses, rest homes, adult homes, nursing homes, etc. We view screen media as “the royal road to the collective unconscious” that showcases society’s attitudes and experiences and reflects its fears and fantasies. This is not a handbook on clinical care. It does NOT include memoir/clinical cases/political polemics. Essays need NOT to espouse a particular POV—but they should include innovative, even iconoclastic, ideas and information. ***

This peer-reviewed collection is in contact with McFarland books, edited by Sharon Packer, M.D., a practicing psychiatrist. The editor authored monographs on Cinema’s Sinister Psychiatrists; Neuroscience in Science Fiction Films; Movies and the Modern Psyche, and Dreams in Myth, Medicine & Movies (Choice, Best Title, 2003). Dr. Packer edited essay collections for Arkham Asylum: Essays on Psychiatry and the Gotham City Institution (Pop Culture Association, Honorable Mention for Best Edited Essay Collection); Mental Illness in American Pop Culture; and A History of Evil in American Popular Culture.***


  • Essays are 3,000-5,000 words w 5-15 academic references in U Chicago 16th edition style w bibliography, using American spelling/punctuation conventions. (Crib sheet provided to supplement free online version).
  • Essays are addressed to a general educated audience, w specialty-specific terms explained within MS body in parentheses.  
  • Additional publication details or a sample contract are available on request.
  • Due date for first draft: Jan 1, 2023; due date for final version: Mar 1, 2023.
  • Pl send short query about topic of interest (to confirm that topic is still open) or 300-500 word abstract), plus resume; plus short excepts or links to published writing or unpublished thesis or dissertation or term papers.
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