A Critical Companion to Jane Campion

A Critical Companion to Jane Campion
Edited by Elsa Colombani and Eurydice Da Silva
Part of the Critical Companion to Popular Directors series
edited by Adam Barkman and Antonio Sanna

2021 marks the triumphant return of filmmaker Jane Campion. After a twelve-year absence from movie screens and a foray into television with the much-acclaimed series Top of the Lake (2014), Campion returns with a new film, The Power of the Dog, an adaptation of Thomas Savage’s 1967 novel, which will be distributed by Netflix and released next fall. In addition, the director will receive the prestigious Lumière Award, to honor a career which is marked by outstanding achievements and a diverse body of work with a distinct poetic style and cohesive themes.

Over the past 35 years, Jane Campion directed 8 feature films, a number of shorts, and helmed two seasons of a TV series. From Sweetie (1989) to Bright Star (2009), she explored femininity through a gallery of female characters at odds with the world they inhabit. Focusing on the female psyche and sexuality, she delved into different film genres, from the road movie (Holy Smoke, 1999) to the thriller (In the Cut, 2003), often finding her inspiration in great literary works (An Angel at my Table, 1990 ; The Portrait of a Lady, 1996). However distinct her films may seem – navigating between different countries, landscapes, social backgrounds and eras – themes and aesthetic choices frequently reappear, always familiar and never quite the same, thus providing central lines of enquiry across her entire filmography.

This anthology seeks previously unpublished essays that explore Jane Campion’s body of work. We are particularly interested in interdisciplinary approaches that can illuminate the various aspects of the director’s work and visual style. This volume will endeavor to address the entirety of her work, short films included.
Contributions could include – but are not limited to – the following topics:
– Gendered identities
– Female experience and subjectivity
– The representation of patriarchy
– Depiction of male characters
– Inner self vs social identity
– Female desire and sexuality
– Eros and Thanatos
– Trauma/mental illness
– Violence
– Adaptation/Literature and poetry
– Intertextuality (Film, Painting, Music)
– Cities and nature
– Space and geography (focus on New Zealand)
– Childhood and the representation of children
– Depiction and role of the family
– Collaborations with Holly Hunter, Nicole Kidman, Kerry Fox
– Film genres (period drama, thriller, biopic, romance, road movie)
– Coming-of-Age stories
– Format (Film, TV)
– Voice over
– Cinematography and aesthetics

This anthology will be organized into thematic sections around these topics and others that emerge from submissions. We are open to works that focus on other topics as well and authors interested in pursuing other related lines of inquiry. Feel free to contact the editor with any questions you may have about the project and please share this announcement with colleagues whose work aligns with the focus of this volume.

Submit a 300-500 word abstract of your proposed chapter contribution, a brief CV and complete contact information to Elsa Colombani (colombani.elsa) and Eurydice Da Silva (eurydice.dasilva) by October 30th, 2021. Full chapters of 6,000-7,000 words will likely be due late April after signing a contract with the publisher (we expect this to be a volume in the ongoing Critical Companion to Popular Directors series edited by Adam Barkman and Antonio Sanna and published with Lexington Books at Rowman & Littlefield).
Note: Acceptance of a proposed abstract does not guarantee the acceptance of the full chapter into the completed volume.

Source: Elsa Colombani