CFP: Violence and Film (deadline: Sept. 1, 2019)

“Violence and Film”

Special Issue of Philosophical Journal of Conflict and Violence

Edited by Chris Fleming (University of Western Sydney) and George A. Dunn (IUPUI)

PJCV is seeking articles dealing with philosophical issues that arise in connection with the depiction of violence in film and television. Violence, real or threatened, drives the plots of many, if not most, of the narratives we watch on the screen. Detectives solve grisly murders, victims seek revenge, teenagers flee slashers, gangsters spray bullets, Kungfu fighters trade punches, and armies clash on the battlefield (or in outer space). While almost everyone claims to wants to reduce the levels of violence in society, movie audiences regularly get an enormous kick out of watching on the screen what we abhor in real life. But not all cinematic violence is meant to titillate. Often the aim is to bring audiences closer to the reality of the mistreatment and abuse suffered by those whose plights might otherwise remain invisible to us. While many worry that exposure to cinematic violence may desensitize us, perhaps it can also serve to awaken our empathy.

We invite contributions dealing with all facets of “Violence and Film.” A variety of philosophical perspectives are welcome, including but not restricted to phenomenology, analytical philosophy, non-Western philosophy, psychoanalysis, and mimetic theory. We are interested in viewpoints from all sides of the political spectrum. We are looking for analyses of violence in particular in films and/or television series, in the work of particular directors, and in specific genres (film noir, Westerns, “grindhouse,” art house, horror movies, war films, science fiction, drama, etc.), as well as reflections on cinematic violence in general. The selected articles will be published by Trivent Publishing in May 2020.

Possible general topics include, but are not restricted to, the following:

o   The source of our fascination with cinematic violence

o    Race, gender, and violence in film

o   The Manicheanism of cinematic violence

o   Rape and sexual abuse in film

o   The poetics of cinematic violence

o    Cinematic violence and catharsis

o   Violence and the symbolization of evil on the screen

o   The myth of redemptive violence in the movies

o   Violence and censorship in film

o   Cinematic representations of religion and violence

o   Political violence on the screen

o   Ethical dilemmas related to violence in movies

Those interested in contributing to this issue should submit an abstract of 100-250 words to Chris Fleming at  and to George A. Dunn at  no later than September 1, 2019. Authors will be informed of acceptance by no later than October 2019. Full papers should be submitted by January 15 2020, be written in the PJCV template available on, and have a maximum of 20 pages.

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