The editor seeks scholarly essays that address some aspect of HBO’s television series The Leftovers (2014-2017) and/or its source text, Tom Perrotta’s novel of the same title (2011)Perrotta co-produced the series with show runner David Lindelof (Lost). Both novel and series are set three years after the “Sudden Departure” of 2% of the world’s population. In ways distinct to each form, The Leftovers serves as a study of the psychological, social, and cultural impact of a large-scale traumatic event. Perrotta’s spare, satirical, character-driven fiction lies in the lineage of modern novels set in the American suburbs. The television series’ first season exhausted Perrotta’s plot, if not its primary conceit. Lindelof and his team expanded beyond the book to dramatize a dystopian world in a manner that is media-savvy, intricately plotted, and densely layered. While it has its detractors, the series has drawn critical acclaim for tackling existential questions and has gained a steadily growing audience of devoted fans.

Essays that think across media, as well as those focused on either the novel or TV series, are encouraged.

Methodological approaches might include:

  • adaptation studies
  • religion / biblical studies
  • feminism / queer theory
  • thematic analysis
  • critical race theory
  • television / film studies
  • literary or visual analysis
  • music studies
  • medium specificity / intermediality
  • readership / fan culture studies

This call is made at the request of a well-established scholarly press. Should the final proposal be accepted, essays of between six and eight thousand words will be due midwinter 2017-18.

Please send CV and 500-word proposal to Claire Daigle,, by August 1st, 2017.