CFP: Michael Jackson: Artist, Advocate, Provocateur

We are seeking proposals for a multi-disciplinary collection of essays on Michael Jackson as a creative and political force.

Serious analysis of the cultural and political meanings of Jackson’s art has lagged behind an inordinate focus on his private life and personality.  We seek thoughtful writing that moves beyond familiar narratives-informed arguments, never before published, that focus on Jackson’s artistry and strategies for social change. Our goals are 1) to move the conversation into new places, taking up new questions for new audiences, and 2) to produce a volume in which scholars, cultural critics, and other thinkers from inside and outside academia speak together, charting directions for Jackson studies in the future.  We welcome a variety of points of view and standards of value.

Send one-page abstracts and one-paragraph professional biographies to Toni  Bowers and Willa Stillwater at by October 15, 2015.  We’ll select proposed essays and assemble a Table of Contents by the end of the calendar year.  Early in 2016, we’ll send a details proposal, including abstracts, to a university press or rigorous academic trade publisher.  Final essays of approximately 9000 words (20 pages) will be due in early June 2016.

Toni Bowers, PhD, is Professor of British Literature at the University of Pennsylvania.  She has published four books and dozens of articles on literary and cultural subjects, including “Dancing with Michael Jackson” (Los Angeles Review of Books, May 14, 2015).

Willa Stillwater, PhD, is the author of “Monsters, Witches, and Michael Jackson’s Ghosts” (Popular Musicology Online, January 8, 2015) and M Poetica: Michael Jackson’s Art of Connection and Defiance (Kindle 2011).

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