Popular Culture and Philosophy

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

Stranger Things and Philosophy, CFA

Posted on | May 30, 2018

Call for Abstracts:
Stranger Things and Philosophy: Thus Spake the Demogorgan
Edited by Jeffrey Ewing and Andrew M. Winters

Abstracts are sought for a collection of essays related to the Netflix original series Stranger Things. This volume will be published by Open Court Publishing (the publisher of The Simpsons and Philosophy, The Matrix and Philosophy, Dexter and Philosophy, The Walking Dead and Philosophy, Boardwalk Empire and Philosophy, and The Princess Bride and Philosophy, etc.) as part of their successful Popular Culture and Philosophy series. We are seeking abstracts, but anyone who has already written an unpublished paper on this topic may submit it in its entirety. Potential contributors may want to examine other volumes in the Open Court series.

Contributors are welcome to submit abstracts on any topic of philosophical interest that pertains to Stranger Things. The editors are especially interested in receiving submissions that engage philosophical issues/topics/concepts in Stranger Things in creative and novel ways.

Please feel free to forward this to anyone who might be interested in contributing.

Contributor Guidelines:

  1. Abstract of paper (100–750 words)
  2. Resume/CV for each author/coauthor of the paper
  3. Initial submission should be made by email (we prefer e-mail with MS Word attachment)


  • Abstracts due August 1st, 2018
  • Authors notified of decisions by September 1st, 2018
  • First drafts due December 1st, 2018

We are looking to complete the entire manuscript by June 1st, 2019 so early submissions are encouraged and welcomed! Send abstracts to: strangerthingsandphilosophy@gmail.com

Topics may include, but are not limited to:

  • Who or what is the mind flayer?
  • Is Will himself when he has been possessed?
  • How much does a person’s memories determine who she is? Who is Will when he has lost his memories?
  • What is the upside down? What’s beyond the gate?
  • Does the way that events appear in the upside down provide insight to how things really are?
  • Is accessing the upside down similar to leaving Plato’s cave?
  • Is the mind extended?
  • Is there a hive mind?
  • Why do the Demadogs die when the Shadow Monster is sealed off by Eleven?
  • How do we come to know that other dimensions exist?
  • What role does Hawkins Lab have in gaining access to the upside down?
  • Does Hawkins Lab create the upside down or does it discover it?
  • How are we to account for the powers that Eleven and Eight possess?
  • Is Joyce a good mother?
  • In which ways are Hopper and Brenner father figures to Eleven?
  • Is it ever okay to break a promise to a friend?
  • Does the person who draws first blood have an obligation to apologize first?
  • Why should we pursue the truth? What risks should we take on in doing so?
  • What forms of experimentation should not be undertaken?
  • Do the ends of research always justify the means?
  • What are the appropriate goals of scientific research?
  • What does the government owe its citizens?
  • How honest should the government be?
  • Is it ever morally permissible to break the law?
  • Why are we drawn to the 80’s motif?
  • Why are we drawn to the macabre, slimy, and horrific?
  • When does the strange become our norm?
  • Why are the boys so impressed by Madmax?
  • Bob’s affinity for technology: How do we become accustomed to new technologies (such as videocameras)?
  • Nancy’s confession: Are we responsible for our actions while intoxicated?
  • Kali’s mission: Is it okay to hurt others who have hurt you?


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