Call for Abstracts/Proposals for Essays for an Edited Collection
SCREEN STORYTELLERS: The Works of Steven Moffat
Edited by William Rabkin
This edited volume on the works of Steven Moffat will be the second book in a new series to be published by Bloomsbury Academic. Seeking 250-word abstracts for previously unpublished essays on films and television series created by Moffat. Final essays will be 3,000-3,500 words, written for an audience of student readers, and will be due Spring/Summer 2024.
The SCREEN STORYTELLERS series is designed for students, professors, and enthusiastic consumers of film, television, and new media who seek information about contemporary and historically significant screenwriters that is both accessible and critically rigorous. The intention with this new series is to bring much-deserved attention to screen and television writers who have developed noteworthy films and television series of significant aesthetic or cultural achievement, critical acclaim, or commercial success, and to offer close readings of the films and series from the perspective of story, screenwriting craft, audience reception, and cultural impact. Each volume will explore the works of a single screen storyteller. The series will place a strong focus on examining works by screenwriters often left out of classroom syllabi, including women, writers of color, LGBTQ writers, and international writers. (Note: The Works of Shonda Rhimes is slated as the first volume in the series. For more information about this series, visit: https://www.bloomsbury.com/uk/discover/superpages/academic/screen-storytellers-series/)
The Works of Steven Moffat
From his early sitcoms to his long run on Doctor Who to his reinventions of Victorian classics like Sherlock Holmes, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, and Dracula, and his current work for Netflix and HBO, writer/producer Steven Moffat has received wild praise for his grand, intricate plotting, self-consciously clever dialogue, smarter-than-you characters and a willingness to risk ridiculousness in pursuit of the sublime– and he has also received brutal criticism for exactly the same reasons. He is possibly the only writer in television history who is accused both of creating storylines that span multiple seasons of a show and become more complex with each episode AND of being a lazy writer, often by the same critic and even in the same sentence. He’s been praised for his strong female and LGBTQ characters and slammed as an (in his words) “insane rightwing misogynist.” With this volume, I hope to offer critical celebration of Moffat’s work and contributions to television.
I welcome contributions from scholars of film, television, media studies, and popular culture, as well as working practitioners, including screen and television writers, filmmakers, and playwrights. Essays may explore individual works or may interrogate a single theme, question, or construct across multiple works. I expect many essays will offer a critical analysis of Steven Moffat’s work so readers can expand their knowledge and understanding of the film and television writing craft, and many essays in this volume will include historically sophisticated commentaries, exploring Moffat’s career through the lens of production, reception, and creative collaborations and dynamics.
Possible essay topics could include but are not limited to:
- Doctor Who franchise and Moffat’s influence
- Moffat as showrunner
- Television writing craft
- Pilot creation craft
- Recurring themes or genres represented in Moffat’s work
- Integration of comedy and/or mystery
- Viewer response / critics’ response
- Moffat and adaptation (Jekyll, Sherlock, Dracula, The Time Traveler’s Wife)
- Professional collaborations, recurring partnerships (Tennant, Gattis, Dolly Wells, etc)
- Deep dives into individual series (pilot and episode craft) or films
- Actors, actresses, and acting or directing of actors in Moffat’s series
- Early series (Press Gang, Coupling, Joking Apart)
- Moffat and fandom, worshipful and toxic
Please submit a 250-word abstract along with a 150-word biographical statement to William Rabkin (email@example.com) by June 30, 2023. Please title the subject line of your email: Abstract – The Works of Steven Moffat.
Please direct any inquiries to this email address as well. I welcome submissions from scholars at all stages of their careers, as well as practicing and aspiring screen and television writing professionals. Feel free to contact me with any questions about the book, and please share this announcement with colleagues whose work aligns with the focus of this volume.
For information about the Screen Storytellers series or to discuss a potential proposal for another volume, contact Anna Weinstein at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Abstracts due June 30, 2023