EVENT Jul 31
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Black Witches & Queer Ghosts: Disrupting Norms in Supernatural Teen Serials

Categories: Popular Culture, Gender & Sexuality, Women's Studies, Cultural Studies, Film, TV, & Media
Event Date: 2023-07-31 Abstract Due: 2022-11-01

While fascination with the supernatural has an extensive history, combining teen subjects and audiences with supernatural topics is a fairly contemporary form of entertainment. Serials like Teen Wolf, The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, and the Vampire Diaries center their narratives on supernatural subjects while occasionally addressing topics that are relevant to teen audiences. Despite the gains made in media regarding inclusion, there are instances when topics, such as race, gender, and sexuality, are avoided in teen serials, which, it may be argued, should be safe spaces where addressing these subjects is most needed. This collection seeks to examine instances in teen supernatural serials that effectively address socially relevant topics, exploring how these subjects are broached while adhering to the overarching theme, and to explore instances in which these serials avoid social issues, opting instead to perform an erasure of any theme that might stray from an ‘American family values’ perspective. Some possible topics include, but are not limited to, the following:

·         Depictions of race, or lack thereof

·         Disrupting the heteronormative

·         Feminist activism or rejecting feminism

·         Rejecting religion or embracing religious ideology

·         Family structures and disruptions


Some possible teen supernatural serials include, but are not limited to:

·         Vampire Diaries

·         The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina

·         Buffy the Vampire Slayer

·         Hemlock Grove

·         Stranger Things

·         Black Lightning

·         Legacies

·         Raising Dion


For consideration, please submit a 50-word author biography and a 300-word abstract, including a reference list of 5 peer-reviewed sources minimum, with current affiliation and contact email address to calexander@tuskegee.edu.


Final essays should be between 5000 and 7000 words, follow the Chicago Manual of Style, 16th ed., use 12 pt. Times New Roman font (all text including endnotes), double space, and have 1-inch margins (all around).


Due dates:

Abstract/Bio/References                                 November 1, 2022

Acceptance Notice                                          November 20, 2022

Rough Draft                                                    February 28, 2023

First Edit                                                         May 31, 2023

Final Version                                                  July 31, 2023


N.B. This collection is currently under contract with Lexington Books and due in 2023.


Camille Alexander