Edited by Irena Jurković, Marko Lukić and Tijana Parezanović

Urban myths and legends continuously serve as a source of fascination and creative inspiration in anglophone cultures, especially in the context of horror genre, within which they have a specific way of articulating collective fears and fascination with the unknown. Additionally, urban myths also contain a significant spatial dimension, based on their rootedness in real life places and landscapes. Starting from the academically well researched and confirmed premise that horror genre is not a mere form of entertainment and escapism, and that in its complexity it assumes the function of reflecting various problems and anxieties of any given society, contributions to this collection should focus on urban myths as specific segments (themes, structural elements, leitmotifs, etc.) of horror narratives, which are conditioned and perpetuated by the spatial aspect of the narrative. With this collection we aim to explore the interconnections of urban myths, horror genre, and human geography, through analyses of various examples of anglophone horror narratives in different media – literature, TV and cinema, video games, or comic books.

Analyses of the variety of horror subgenres (e.g., supernatural horror, slasher horror, body horror, psychological horror, etc.) and narratives from different periods are welcome as the diversity will give insight into different styles and discourses, enable comparisons, and hence also provide a broader perspective on the main topic, all with a view to establishing a common approach to the specific nexus of urban myths, horror genre, and human geography, and thus creating what might be defined as new cultural geography of a distinctive kind. Within the selected narrative, exploring human interaction with the physical and social surroundings allows for a further development of a specific analytical framework, which brings an understanding of the complex ways in which horror narratives, through their frequent reliance on urban myths and legends, shape our comprehension of real places and spaces of social reality. Therefore, this collection calls for contributions which through a detailed multi-methodological analysis (discourse analysis, content analysis, etc.) of selected narratives explore the ways in which horror genre (de)constructs or transcends temporal and spatial limitations, thus not only reflecting but also influencing and/or shaping the broader social, cultural, and political context.

Essays may explore but are not limited to the following topics:

  • representation and perception of urban myths in anglophone horror films and other media forms, such as comics and video games
  • urban myths and spatiality/human geography
  • geographical roots of urban myths
  • haunted spaces/places
  • questions of identity and representation in relation to urban myths/mythologies
  • urban myths and new narrative forms
  • urban myths and the creation of new cultural and historical paradigms
  • the political discourses of urban myths
  • urban myths and place identity
  • gender and urban myths in horror
  • reshaping of a national contemporaneity through urban myth narratives
  • comparative analysis of different mediatic representations
  • urban legends about media told through media
  • intersections of real and fictional spaces within urban myths
  • social dynamic established between urban myths and legends on the one hand, and their reinterpretations in horror narratives on the other
  • new theoretical practices and understandings of the cultural geography of horror
  • the intersection of folklore and horror
  • digital narratives and the digitalization of urban myths
  • spatial horror in video games
  • cinematic techniques and spatial horror
  • visual constructions and perceptions of spatiality within urban myths

We invite all interested scholars to send their proposal (400-500 words) and short bio (max. 200 words, including author’s academic affiliation) to urbanmythsculture@gmail.com by November 15th 2023. Full essays should be 7000-8000 words (incl. references, notes and citations) and use the MLA style guide. University of Wales Press has expressed interest in the volume as part of their Horror Studies series.

  • Notification of acceptance: November 20th 2023.
  • Deadline for essay submission: January 20th 2024.