Popular Culture and Philosophy

A blog for contributors and editors by Series Editor, George A. Reisch

Anthony Bourdain and Philosophy, CFA

Posted on | February 14, 2022

Call for Abstracts
Anthony Bourdain and Philosophy
Edited by Scott Calef

The Carus Books Popular Culture and Philosophy Series

Abstracts are being sought for a collection of philosophical essays related to any aspect of the life, work and legacy of Anthony Bourdain to be published by Carus Books (the editorial team behind the similar series by Open Court).

Anthony Bourdain was a pop culture icon, celebrity chef, multi-times bestselling author, armchair philosopher, activist and travel documentarian. He has been everywhere, seemingly met everyone worth meeting (e.g. Barak Obama; Iggy Pop; Chuck Palahniuk), eaten everything (e.g. ant eggs; whole cobra; fermented shark; unwashed warthog rectum), and, until his tragic death by hanging in France while on assignment filming Parts Unknown, lived to tell the tale (and tell it very well).  Since his suicide, his fame has only grown.  Anthony Bourdain’s brilliant and multi-faceted career, his larger than life persona and influence, and his adventures in, and documentaries about, some of the most diverse and remote places on Earth raise many fascinating issues worthy of philosophical exploration.

Submission Guidelines:

Interested persons should submit, by July 1st, 2022, the following to Scott Calef (swcalef@owu.edu) in a single Microsoft Word document: (1) An abstract between 100 -500 words,  (2) a biographical statement of no more than 150 words for each author/co-author, and (3) a CV for each author/co-author.

All submissions should be philosophically substantial but accessible and fun, written to engage the intelligent lay reader with little or no prior experience of academic philosophy.  (Prospective authors are strongly encouraged to consult other published books in the Popular Culture and Philosophy series to get a sense of the intended style.)

As a general rule, references should be kept to a minimum and final chapters are expected to be between 3,000 and 4,500 words with a strong preference for submissions in the lower end of that range.

Please note that all chapters must (a) entertainingly engage with some aspect of Bourdain’s life and work and (b) seek to expand the readers’ appreciation of Bourdain and his accomplishments using philosophical concepts and thinkers.  Submissions which fail to satisfy both aims will not be considered.

Deadlines:

  • July 1st, 2022: Abstracts, biographies and CVs are due to the editor (swcalef@owu.edu; scottcalef@yahoo.com). Prospective participants are invited to contact the editor at any time prior to the July 1st deadline to convey their interest. Note: Acceptance of an abstract should not be construed as a commitment to publish the final paper.
  • November 15th, 2022: First drafts of accepted papers are due to the editor.
  • February 15th, 2023: Final revisions (if applicable) of accepted papers are due.

(Early submissions are encouraged and welcomed!)

Possible themes include:

Philosophy and Food:

·      What is food?  What is “good” food?  What does Bourdain have to say about that?
·      What is the relationship between food and culture, food and community?
·      What types of food is it ethical to consume?  To produce?
·      What sorts of meanings attach to food?

Personal, Social and Professional Ethics:

·      Is it wrong to take advantage of less-discriminating customers?
·      Is it unethical for a restaurant to serve substandard food? Food that is leftover, not fresh or dropped on the floor?
·      Is vegetarianism, as Bourdain once stated, a “first world luxury”?  Is meat eating morally permissible?
·      In Parts Unknown, Bourdain goes hunting. Is that ok?
·      In Kitchen Confidential, Bourdain describes elite NY restaurants in the 1990s that fostered a culture where machismo, sexism and offensive language was rife. Is it appropriate to hold people who e.g. facilitated a “hostile work environment” decades ago accountable to moral norms recognized and embraced today?
·      Is it permissible for restaurants to hire the undocumented?
·      Is suicide a moral problem?
·      Is refusal to tip a theft of service?
·      Bourdain’s support for the immigrants / the Palestinians / victims of sexual assault.
·      Anthony Bourdain and the Platonic “cardinal virtues”: Was he courageous?  Moderate?  (Bourdain had an addictive personality.)  Wise?  Just?
·      Anthony Bourdain and Epicureanism.
·      Can expensive fine dining and 3 star Michelin restaurants be justified on utilitarian grounds?

Aesthetics:

·      Is taste relative?  Subjective?  Is Bourdain really a better cook than I am?
·      On the flip side, is it an objective truth that spoiled milk, burnt food, and food chock full of artificial ingredients is “bad”?
·      Is cooking an art, or, as Bourdain alleged, a craft?  What’s the difference?
·      Why is loving wine for its aesthetic qualities sophisticated, but loving a person for their appearance shallow?
·      Is there such a thing as “food porn”?  What is that supposed to be, exactly?
·      If food can be art, what sort of art is it which is destroyed in the very act of being appreciated?

Diversity, Travel and Knowledge:

·      What sort of wisdom does travel bring?  How are wisdom, knowledge and perspective related?
·      Do we have an obligation to be open minded, non-judgmental, flexible, and receptive to new experiences?  If so, why?
·      What do we miss by vacationing in an all-inclusive resort and never venturing off the hotel property?
·      Is it really true that all people, everywhere, are basically the same?  How can we know?
·      Topics related to Bourdain’s late-career obsession with martial arts training.
·      The documentary film / travelogue format and the nature of “truth”.

Thank you!
Scott Calef (swcalef@owu.edu; scottcalef@yahoo.com)

Call For Abstracts: The Godfather and Philosophy

Posted on | January 11, 2022

Edited by Joshua Heter and Richard Greene

Abstracts are sought for a collection of essays on any philosophical topic related to The Godfather: the novel, the three films, or issues related to the production of the films to be published with Carus Books (this is the same editorial team that was long with Open Court Publishing). Potential contributors may want to examine previously published volumes such as The Sopranos and Philosophy, Westworld and Philosophy, The Princess Bride and Philosophy, and The Man in the High Castle and Philosophy.
Abstracts and eventual essays should be written for an educated but non-specialized audience (with an approximate length of 3,000 – 3,500 words).
Contributor Guidelines:
Mail abstracts (and any questions) to: thegodfatherandphilosophy@gmail.com.

  1. Abstracts should be between 100 – 500 words.
  2. Potential contributors must include a resume/CV for each author/coauthor.
  3. Initial submissions should be made by e-mail as either a Word doc. or a PDF.
  4. Deadlines:
    Abstracts due by: May 1, 2022
    First drafts due by August 1, 2022
    Final drafts due by November 1, 2022
    (Early submissions are encouraged and welcomed!)

Isaac Asimov’s Foundation and Philosophy, CFA

Posted on | July 19, 2021

Call for Abstracts!

Isaac Asimov’s Foundation and Philosophy: Psychohistory and its Discontents

Edited by Joshua Heter and Josef Thomas Simpson

Abstracts are sought for a collection of essays on any philosophical topic related to Isaac Asimov’s Foundation series as well as the television adaptation (airing September 24, 2021 on Apple TV+) to be published with Carus Books. This is the same editorial team that worked with Open Court Publishing for many years. Potential contributors may want to examine previously published volumes such as Westworld and Philosophy as well as The Man in High Castle and Philosophy.

Abstracts and eventual essays should be written for an educated but nonspecialized audience (with an approximate length of 10 to 12 pages).

Contributor Guidelines:

Email abstracts (and any questions) to: foundationandphilosophy@gmail.com

  1.  Abstracts should be between 100 – 500 words.
  2. Potential contributors must include a resume/CV for each author/coauthor.
  3. Initial submissions should be made by e-mail as either a Word doc. or a PDF.

Deadlines:

  • Abstracts due by December 19, 2021
  • First drafts due by March 11, 2022
  • Final drafts due by April 24, 2022

Contact: foundationandphilosophy@gmail.com

 

 

Warren Zevon and Philosophy, Call for Abstracts

Posted on | July 7, 2021

Warren Zevon and Philosophy: Call for Abstracts

Edited by John E. MacKinnon

We are seeking abstracts for Warren Zevon and Philosophy, to be published by Carus Books, the editorial team behind the long-running Popular Culture and Philosophy series by Open Court.

Submission Guidelines: All submissions—abstract, biography, and chapters (if accepted)—should be written for an educated, nonspecialized audience. References should be minimal, and it is nearly always better to describe concepts yourself than to use quotations. Also (and this is important), your writing should be fun or interesting to read! We strongly suggest that you refer to past volumes in the series to get a sense of the intended style. Chapters are expected to be 3k words.

Interested persons should submit, by January 15, 2022, the following to John E. MacKinnon (john.mackinnon@smu.ca) as a single Microsoft Word document: 1) An abstract of between 100 and 500 words (written in an engaging style); 2) A biographical statement for each author/co-author, no more than 125 words each (also written in an engaging style); 3) A CV for each author/co-author.

Deadlines:

  • January 15, 2022: Abstracts and other submission materials are due to the editor.
  • July 15, 2022: Finished essays are due from the authors

Example Topics: All chapters should have two related goals: 1) to entertainingly engage with the music and life of Warren Zevon and 2) to expand readers’ appreciation of Zevon and his music by drawing on philosophical concepts and thinkers. Submissions which fail to satisfy both aims will not be considered. Again, we strongly suggest referring to past volumes in the series for examples of this practice. Any relevant topic will be considered, including thoughtful commentary on particular songs or albums, but here are some examples of the kinds of chapters we are seeking:

  • Zevon’s mastery of what Jackson Browne calls “song noir.”
  • Zevon and the perils of fame (consider in light of his own reflections on this in “Jesus Mentioned” and “Porcelain Monkey”).
  • The place of history in Zevon’s music (“Frank and Jesse James,” “Veracruz,” “Roland the Headless Thompson Gunner,” “Ourselves to Know”)
  • The literary Zevon.
  • Zevon and the art of collaboration (in relation to the songs he co-wrote with, for instance, Jackson Browne, Bruce Springsteen, Thomas McGuane, Carl Hiaasen, Paul Muldoon, and Jorge Calderón).
  • Zevon and the aesthetics of the cover version (his covers of others’ music, like “Wild Thing,” “A Certain Girl,” “Raspberry Beret,” “Back in the High Life,” “Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door,” as well as other musicians’ covers of his work).
  • Zevon on the sporting life (“Bill Lee,” “Boom Boom Mancini,” “Hit Somebody”).
  • Zevon on our obsession with harm (“Life’ll Kill Ya”), and the further means of discipline and control that it warrants.
  • Zevon’s evocation of Los Angeles (“Desperadoes Under the Eaves”, “Carmelita,” “Join Me in L.A.,” “Charlie’s Medicine”).
  • Zevon in a censorious age: themes of sex and race.
  • Zevon and the dystopian (“Desperadoes under the Eaves,” “Run Straight Down”)
  • Zevon and sin.
  • Zevon, death and dying.

Carus Books is now taking over the publishing mission of Open Court Publishing Company. To propose ideas for future volumes, please contact David R. Steele, at dramsaysteele@gmail.com

Thank you! John E. MacKinnon (john.mackinnon@smu.ca)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Queen and Philosophy, CFA

Posted on | June 28, 2021

Queen and Philosophy: Call for Abstracts

Edited by: Jared Kemling and Randall E. Auxier

We are seeking abstracts for Queen and Philosophy, to be published by Carus Books: the editorial team behind the long running Popular Culture and Philosophy series by Open Court.

Submission Guidelines:

All submissions—abstract, biography, and chapters (if accepted)—should be written for an educated, non-specialized audience. References should be minimal, and it is nearly always better to describe concepts yourself than to use quotations. Also (and this is important), your writing should be fun or interesting to read! We strongly suggest that you refer to past volumes in the series to get a sense of the intended style. Chapters are expected to be 3k words.

Interested persons should submit, by September 1st, 2021, the following to Jared Kemling (jaredkemling@gmail.com) as a single Microsoft word document: 1) An abstract of no more than 300 words (written in an engaging style) 2) A biographical statement for each author/co-author, no more than 125 words each (written in an engaging style) 3) A CV for each author/co-author.

Deadlines:

September 1st, 2021: Abstracts and other submission materials are due to the editors

September 15th, 2021: Editors will notify authors of their potential involvement

December 1st, 2021: Finished essays are due from the authors

Early 2022: Editorial review, revision, and proofreading

Example Topics: All chapters should have two related goals: 1) to entertainingly engage with the band—its music, history, fandom, and so on—and 2) to expand the readers’ appreciation of the band using philosophical concepts and thinkers. Submissions which fail to satisfy both aims will not be considered. Again, we strongly suggest referring to past volumes in the series for examples of this practice. Any relevant topic will be considered, but here are some examples of the kinds of chapters we are seeking:

  • “Another One Bites the Dust”: Philosophy of Death and Dying (relating to Mercury’s death, or otherwise).
  • “Radio Ga Ga”: Philosophy of Communication/media (Frankfurt school, and so on), through the lens of the band’s career.
  • “In the Lap of the Gods”: Philosophy of Religion (relating to Mercury’s Zoroastrian heritage, or otherwise).
  • “Rhapsodies from Bohemia”: Philosophy of culture, discussing the idea of Bohemianism in the context of the band and the culture of their era.
  • “Scaramouche: A Night at the Opera”: Philosophy of Music/Aesthetics, relating to the band’s eclectic reference to musical forms and themes (Opera, Waltz, Gospel, and so on).
  • “Mother Love”: Philosophy of Gender/Sexuality, relating to the band’s frequent reference to strong female figures (queens, mothers).
  • “White Man” Philosophy of Race/Intersectionality, through the lens of the band (perhaps including Mercury’s heritage and experience as an immigrant).
  • “A Day at the Races”: Philosophy of Entertainment/Leisure, Marx/Veblen (bonus points for connecting Marxist analysis to the Marx brothers film itself, and the band’s love for the Marx brothers).
  • “A Kind of Magic”: Philosophy of Mythology and Occultism, relating to the band’s interest in those topics (Fantasy, Sci-fi, Victorian Fairy Tales, Mythology, and so on).
  • “Queen’s Crest”: Semiotics, relating to the symbolism of the band (the crest, album artwork, music videos).
  • “Death on Two Legs”: Philosophy of Economics, commercialization of art and the artist, in light of the band’s relationship to the industry (including the famous fight with Norman Sheffield).
  • “Pain Is So Close to Pleasure”: Utilitarian ethics, relating to the band’s hedonistic rockstar lifestyle (or otherwise).
  • “Supernumerary”: Phenomenology and the lived body, relating to Mercury’s supernumerary incisors and their self-perceived effect on his voice and career.
  • “Is This the World We Created?” Political Philosophy/Environmental Ethics, through the lens of the band’s activism.
  • “I’m in Love with My Car”: Philosophy of Psychology, dealing with object cathexis in light of the song’s content (and otherwise).
  • “Seven Seas of Why?”: Epistemology, potentially relating to Mercury’s creation of the fantastical Rhye (in which several songs are thought by fans to be set) or his youth in Zanzibar.
  • “Who Wants to Live Forever”: Philosophy of Technology or transhumanism, in light of Mercury’s terminal illness (or otherwise).
  • “Nothing Really Matters to Me”: Nihilism and Existentialism.

Carus Books is now taking over the publishing mission of Open Court Publishing Company. To propose ideas for future volumes, please contact David R. Steele, at dramsaysteele@gmail.com

Thank you! Jared Kemling jaredkemling@gmail.com

Better Call Saul and Philosophy, call for abstracts

Posted on | May 8, 2021

Better Call Saul and Philosophy. Call for Abstracts

Edited by Joshua Heter and Brett Coppenger

Abstracts are sought for a collection of essays on any philosophical topic related to the hit television series Better Call Saul to be published by Carus Books (this is the same editorial team that was long with Open Court Publishing). Potential contributors may want to examine previously published volumes such a Westworld & Philosophy as well as The Man in High Castle & Philosophy.

 

Abstracts and eventual essays should be written for an educated but non-specialized audience (with an approximate length of 10 to 12 pages).

Contributor Guidelines:

Email abstracts (and any questions) to: bettercallsaulandphilosophy@gmail.com

1. Abstracts should be between 100 – 500 words.

2. Potential contributors must include a resume/CV for each author/coauthor.

3. Initial submissions should be made by e-mail as either a Word doc. or a PDF.

4. Deadlines:

Abstracts due by August 15, 2021

First drafts due by November 15, 2021

Final drafts due by January 15, 2022

(Early submissions are encouraged and welcomed!)

Pokémon and Philosophy, Call for Abstracts

Posted on | February 2, 2021

Call for Abstracts

Pokémon and Philosophy – Edited by Nicolas Michaud

Published by Carus Books

Please circulate and post widely. Apologies for Cross-posting.

Abstracts and subsequent essays must be accessible to a lay audience as well as philosophically substantial. All writing should be engaging and directly relevant to Pokémon and its many incarnations including cartoons, video games, and Pokémon Go. The chapters must be pointed and direct, engaging philosophical tools and theories to explore the world of Pokémon or to use the series to help explore or solve important philosophical problems.

***The 10 to 12-paged papers are written in a conversational style***

Submission Guidelines:

Submission deadline for abstracts (100-500 words) and CV’s: March 1st, 2021
Notification of accepted abstracts: March 7th, 2021
Submission deadline for first drafts of accepted papers:  June 30th, 2021
Kindly submit abstract (with or without Word attachment) and CV by email to: Nicolas Michaud (philosophylives@gmail.com).

Possible topics Areas of interest include but are not limited to…

Metaphysics:  Ex. How does one understand “reality” in the world of “augmented reality” ushered in by Pokémon Go?

Epistemology: Ex. How does one know one is an original and not a clone?

Ethics: Ex. Is capturing and using Pokémon to battle ethical?

Logic: Ex. How might the many worlds of Pokémon be understood through possible worlds semantics?

Applied Philosophy: Ex. What lesson can we learn from Pokémon?

Carus Books is now taking over the publishing mission of Open Court Publishing Company. To propose ideas for future volumes, please contact David R. Steele, at dramsaysteele@gmail.com

Thank you!

CFA, Dark Souls and Philosophy

Posted on | February 2, 2021

CALL FOR ABSTRACTS

Dark Souls and Philosophy
Edited by Nicolas Michaud – Published by Carus Books

Please circulate and post widely. Apologies for Cross-posting

Abstracts and subsequent essays must be accessible to a lay audience as well as philosophically substantial. All writing should be engaging and directly relevant to the Dark Souls video game series. The chapters must be pointed and direct, engaging philosophical tools and theories to explore the Dark Souls series or to use the series to help explore or solve important philosophical problems.

***The 10 to 12-paged papers are written in a conversational style***

Submission Guidelines:

  1. Submission deadline for abstracts (100-500 words) and CV’s: March 1, 2021 
  2. Notification of accepted abstracts: March 7, 2021
  3. Submission deadline for first drafts of accepted papers: June 30, 2021

Kindly submit abstract (with or without Word attachment) and CV by email to: Nicolas Michaud (philosophylives@gmail.com).

Possible Areas of interest include but are not limited to…

Metaphysics Does Dark Souls expose unsolvable problems in our own definition of “the soul”?

Epistemology How does one know one is alive in a world of reincarnation?

Ethics If the collapse of the world is inevitable, is it wrong to hasten it?

Logic In a world of deception, how does one define truth?

Applied Philosophy Is there a lesson to be learned from Dark Souls?

Carus Books is now taking over the publishing mission of Open Court Publishing Company. To propose ideas for future volumes, please contact David R. Steele, at dramsaysteele@gmail.com

Thank you!

Nicolas Michaud

 

Dave Chappelle and Philosophy, CFA Deadline Update

Posted on | December 10, 2019

CALL FOR ABSTRACTS
Dave Chappelle and Philosophy
Mark Ralkowski, editor
(mralkow@gwu.edu)

Abstracts are sought for a collection of philosophical essays related to Dave Chappelle. This volume will focus on Chappelle’s Show, stand up performances, notable interviews, and anything else Chappelle has said, done, or written that is worthy of philosophical consideration. Open Court Publishing will publish this volume as part of their successful Popular Culture and Philosophy series in 2020.

Contributors are welcome to submit abstracts on any topic of philosophical interest that pertains to Dave Chappelle. The editor is especially interested in receiving submissions that engage philosophical issues in Dave Chappelle’s career in creative and non-standard ways. The purpose of this volume is not merely to celebrate Chappelle’s career, but to engage it critically.

Contributors are welcome to write on conventional philosophical issues, but the editor is also interested in chapters focused on the ethics of humor and Chappelle’s recent standup specials, several of which have been criticized for being transphobic, victim-blaming, and racist.

Contribution guidelines:

1. Abstract of chapter (100-300 words)

2. Resume/CV for each author/coauthor of the chapter

3. Submission deadline for abstracts: April 6, 2020

4. Email submissions to the editor at mralkow@gwu.edu

Note: If the editor invites you to be a contributor to the book, the first draft of your chapter will be due August 31, 2020. Final drafts will be expected by October 5, 2020.

Mark Ralkowski: mralkow@gwu.edu

Neon Genesis Evangelion and Philosophy, CFA

Posted on | August 1, 2019

Call for Abstracts:
Neon Genesis Evangelion and Philosophy
Edited by Christian Cotton and Andrew M. Winters

When most people think of anime, they think of large eyed adolescents fighting fearsome monsters. While this is partly the case for Neon Genesis Evangelion, this is only a surface understanding of the show. Beyond the fearsome monsters and bio-machine Evangelions, the show explores the depths of the psyches of the adolescents when they become the very weapons needed to destroy the onslaught of Angles. Unfortunately, in the process of defending Tokyo-3 from a Third Impact, the three main characters, Shinji Ikari, Rei Ayanami, and Asuaka Langley Soryu, run the risk of destroying themselves.

The experiences the young adolescents face and the amount of secrecy that large organizations maintain makes Neon Genesis Evangelion writhe with philosophical themes, spanning areas such as existentialism, politics, ethics, aesthetics, metaphysics, epistemology, religion, and psychology.

For these reasons, we are seeking abstracts addressing the philosophical themes found within the anime Neon Genesis Evangelion for the Open Court Pop Culture Series (which includes titles such as The Simpsons and Philosophy, The Matrix and Philosophy, Twin Peaks and Philosophy, and Stranger Things and Philosophy).

We are seeking abstracts (300-800 words) dealing with any philosophically relevant topic in addition to the following:

• Eastern and Western mythological themes
• Mental health issues (Rei’s schizophrenia, Shinji’s Oedipus complex, and Ritsuko’s electra complex)
• Rites of passage from adolescence to adulthood
• The nature of the self and personal identity
• The relationship between humans and technology
• The relationship between religion, politics, and military actions
• The mind, consciousness, and the subconscious
• Sexual identity
• Cosmological origins
• The meaning of life
• The relationship between truth, knowledge, and power

Contributor guidelines:
1. 300-800 word abstract of paper (attached as a .doc or .docx)
2. Resume / CV for each author / coauthor of paper
3. Initial submission should be sent by email to neongenesisandphilosophy@gmail.com

DEADLINES:
1. Abstracts due: October 21, 2019, but you can send them in sooner
2. Notification of accepted abstracts: November 21, 2019
3. First drafts of papers due: February 21, 2020

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The Philosophy and Pop Culture series at Carus Books brings philosophy to general readers by critically exploring the meanings, concepts, and puzzles within television shows, movies, music and other icons of popular culture.

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