Call for Papers Special Issue: The Exorcist: Studies on Possession, Influence, & Society

Special Edition of Revenant:

The Exorcist: Studies on Possession, Influence, and Society”

Deadline for abstract submissions: October 31, 2021

Guest Editors: Edmund P. Cueva (University of Houston-Downtown) and Nadia Scippacercola (Università degli Studi di Napoli Federico II)

The Exorcist, both as a book and film, has had a lasting influence beyond the world of horror. It is essentially a foundational, multivalent work: on the one hand, it helps understand and approach the theological concept and spiritual dimension of demonic possession as found in the Catholic faith, and on the other hand, it investigates domestic/public, spaces, dynamics, and spheres. Indeed, The Exorcist examines social discourse and narratives from a transformative and turbulent period of American history, sheds light on the difficulties that aging populations face in societies that do not offer adequate social safety nets, and exposes the miserable circumstances that people with mental health conditions and medically uninsured individuals and families often endure. Moreover, The Exorcist also speaks directly to the colonization and neo-colonization of archaeological sites and religions.

The Exorcist has much to offer as the foci for extensive and sustained research in the humanistic disciplines. This Special Edition of Revenant aims to start a new conversation on The Exorcist according to three dimensions: 1) to go back to the roots of the concept of possession, 2) to assess the cultural impact of the book and film, and 3) to present new scholarly developments about the book and film. Potential topics include but are not limited to:

  • possession in antiquity – literary accounts
  • possession in antiquity – anthropological, psychological, archaeological data and observations
  • antiquity as a bridge between medieval and/or modern religious views of possession
  • possession in post-classical – pre-modern times
  • the influence of ancient literature and thought on the book and movie
  • possession in the modern age
  • similarities differences between Western and non-Western possession (ancient, post-classical, and modern) – literary accounts; anthropological, psychological, archaeological data and observations
  • possession in the arts
  • possession and witches
  • mysticism and altered state of consciousness
  • psychology/psychiatry and possession
  • the influence of the book and movie(s)
  • the persistence of the popularity of the book and movie

For articles and creative pieces (such as poetry, short stories, flash fiction, videos, comics, artwork, and music) please send a 500-word abstract and a short biography by October 31st, 2021. If your abstract is accepted, the full article (maximum 7000 words, including Harvard referencing) and the full creative piece (maximum 5000 words if a written piece) will be due April 30th, 2022. Reviews of books, films, games, events, and art related to the subterranean will be considered (800-1,000 words in length). Please send full details of the title and medium you would like to review as soon as possible. Further information, including Submission Guidelines, are available at the journal website: Inquiries are welcome and, along with all submissions, should be directed to [email protected] and [email protected].