Popular Culture and Philosophy

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

The Dark Tower and Philosophy, Call for Abstracts

Posted on | January 11, 2017

The Dark Tower and Philosophy, CFA

Edited by Jacob May and Nicolas Michaud for The Open Court Series

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 upcoming Dark Tower film, the circulated comic series, and of course novels. Each chapter accepted for publication must address the subject(s) from a philosophical perspective. The chapters must be pointed and direct, engaging philosophical tools and theories to highlight topics addressed by the related material(s).

Submission Guidelines:

1. Submission deadline for abstracts (100-500 words) and CV’s: August 27th

2. Notification of accepted abstracts: September 3rd

3. Submission deadline for first drafts of accepted papers: October 1st

4. Submission of final drafts for papers: November 5th

Kindly submit abstract (with or without Word attachment) and CV by email to: Jacob May (Jacob.thomas.may@gmail.com).

We understand that the upcoming movie may affect some of the possible ideas/papers and will be taking into account time for some of you to rework/restructure said papers should you need to.

Possible topics include…

  • Which world is the PRIME WORLD…and does it really Matter?
  • The Man in Black fled across the desert…and the Gunslinger followed. Is Roland’s journey pointless? Nietzsche and the True World.
  • Eschatology and the Crumbling Tower – Why is Roland the only one concerned about the end of all Universes?
  • “Yes, but not for you Gunslinger.” – Is Roland an agent of Free Will or Fatalism?
  • The problem of Identity and Solipsism – if Roland or Walter is inside someone’s minds, who is that person, really?
  • Numerical Identity – The problem with Odetta Holmes.
  • Philosophical Foundations of Heroism – Roland and Sacrifice…Jake/Eddie/Cuthbert/Alain/Oy?etc…
  • Insanity and the Nature of Reality – Dying/Not Dying – are Roland and Jake insane?
  • The Philosophical problem of Trust – Why should Jake trust Roland?
  • Blaine the Mono and the problem with [Murderous] A.I.
  • Ayn Rand and the Philosophy of Sacrifice – A Murderer, Betrayer and now an Adulterer…Oh and now he killed his mother too – Is Roland seriously our Hero?
  • Moral philosophy and the politics of being a Corrupt-Free Gunslinger.
  • The Impossible Choice – Flagg’s offer to abandon their quest and the fact that they refuse it – is Roland’s Ka-Tet committing suicide?
  • Roland’s Ka-Tet’s Excellent Adventure – The problem with time travel.
  • Revisiting Identity – are Susannah and Mia really different people?
  • The 4th Wall – Callahan and Salem’s Lot…Written by Stephen King.
  • Parenthood and Procreation – the problem with Mordred
  • Existentialism and the deaths of Eddie, Jake and Oy.
  • Is there a Clearing at the End of the Path…or just more Worlds??? How THE VOID is utter nonsense.
  • Telos and the philosophy of Endings – why King just isn’t a fan.
  • Joseph Campbell fled across the desert…and the Gunslinger followed – Repeating a journey and the TRUE Hero with 1,000 faces.
  • “This time will be different.” – Should we really care about Roland’s subsequent journey(s)?
  • The Dark Tower and Immortality – Is Roland immortal? Is that a good thing? Does anyone truly die? (Eddie, Susannah, Jake and Oy waking up in New York)


Please visit http://www.opencourtbooks.com/categories/pcp.htm for more information on Open Court’s Pop Culture and Philosophy series. To propose ideas for future volumes in the Open Court series please contact the Series Editor, George A. Reisch, at: pcpideas AT gmail.com.

Thank you!

Jacob May & Nicolas Michaud


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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.