Popular Culture and Philosophy

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

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.


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


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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.