Deadline for Abstracts: July 1, 2016
Deadline for Completed Essays: January 15, 2017
The NBC series Hannibal has garnered both critical and fan acclaim for its cinematic qualities, its complex characters, and its fascinating reworking of Thomas Harris’ mythology so well known from Jonathan Demme’s Silence of the Lambs (1991) and its variants. The television series concluded late in 2015 after three seasons and in spite of a great deal of fan support for its continuation on a premium network or through a paid service like Netflix.
Hannibal builds on the serial killer narratives of popular procedurals, while taking them in a drastically different direction. Like critically acclaimed series such as Breaking Bad and The Sopranos, it makes its viewers complicit in the actions of a deeply problematic individual, and, in the case of Hannibal, forces them to confront that complicity through the character of Will Graham. As both an extension of and divergence from these trends, Hannibal is also worth exploring in its own right as a simultaneously stunning and grotesque exploration of the darkest depths of the human psyche. Also of interest is Hannibal creator Bryan Fuller’s easy relationship with fans, in contrast to other showrunners (Supernatural, Game of Thrones) who often clash with fans over directorial and interpretive choices.
We are soliciting essays for an edited collection and are presently in negotiation with a university press for publication in late 2017 or early 2018. Please send a 300-word abstract and brief biography to firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com before July 1, 2016. Completed essays of 6,000-6,500 words will be due on January 15, 2017.
Possible topics include but are not limited to:
- The grotesque and the monstrous
- The enduring appeal of Hannibal Lecter
- Hannibal Lecter and Will Graham as dual protagonists
- The seductive nature of evil/Hannibal as a Vice figure
- The viewer as voyeur or accomplice
- Queer motifs and readings
- Female characters (including those whose gender was changed from the novels)
- Horror/Gothic elements
- Visual aesthetics of violence/gore/murder
- Depictions of food/foodie culture
- Similarities and differences from Harris’ novels and previous adaptations
- Hannibal’s use of art, literature, and musical referents
- Depictions of mental illness and disability
- Serial killers in popular media
- Visual and narrative motifs of Hannibal
- Bryan Fuller’s relationship with the “fannibals,” fans of the show