Revenge of the Remakes–cfp

Some colleagues here at BYU are editing a volume on remakes of 1950s sci fi films. They were interested in seeing if any there any colleagues in Chinese studies who might want to contribute a chapter. See the call for papers below.

Steve Riep <>

Call for Papers

Revenge of the Remakes: Adaptations and the Influence of 1950s Sci-Fi Films will be an edited collection of essays that will focus on the influence of 1950s science fiction films in later decades through direct and indirect adaptations. A great deal has been written about the sci-fi films of the 1950s, but much less has been written about how these films have been recycled, repurposed, and reused over the years.

Of Special Interest: We have already received several proposals on Godzilla, Invasion of the Body Snatchers, Stranger Things, and The Creature from the Black Lagoon/The Shape of Water, and in the interest of general coverage, are not considering further proposals on those films. However, we would like to receive proposals on other important films that have been influential and adapted, including such classics as War of the Worlds, The Day the Earth Stood Still, The Thing, Invaders from Mars, and Them!. We are also interested in feminist films such as I Married a Monster from Outer Space, Wasp Woman, Attack of the 50 Foot Woman, as well as others. And, finally, we are also interested in other 50s films that deal with such topics as the End of the World, Alien Visitors, and Space Travel. (See below for further details, including contact information.)

Science fiction has thoroughly saturated our own era. Hollywood, alone, produces over four hundred science fiction films annually, and many of these owe a great deal to films from the 50s. The purpose of this study is to examine the relationships between 50s sci-fi films and the explosion of sci-fi texts that have been made since, with the intent of unveiling their continued influence on the various themes and concerns of subsequent science fiction. Certainly SF films were created before the 1950s, but the decade of the 1950s is the first heyday of science fiction film. Many of these films, like Don Siegel’s Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956), strongly reflect concerns of the moment, but find surprising new life in shows like Netflix’s Stranger Things. Forbidden Planet (1956), the most revered sci fi film of the 1950s, became the blueprint for Star Trek, its movie franchise, and its growing list of television spinoffs. As these films have been adapted, recycled, and remade many, like 2009’s The Day the Earth Stood Still, re-focus central themes. In this case from 1950s fears of nuclear proliferation, to millennial fears of environmental collapse. Other remakes, such as John Carpenter’s The Thing (1982), preserve similar themes, but take advantage of improved special effects technology to more accurately adapt the original ideas. In John Campbell’s Who Goes There? the alien creature has the ability to change shapes to mimic any living creature, including the scientists at the isolated Antarctic research station. Howard Hawks may have been drawn to that central conceit when he made The Thing from Another World in 1951, but the technology to convincingly put that shape-changing ability on the big screen would have to wait 30 years for Carpenter and his team. 1979’s Alien, arguably another adaptation of The Thing, introduced an interesting variation on the themes of Hawk’s film. In the 1979 Alien, and its sequel, Aliens (1986), feminist elements are added as Ellen Ripley, a strong and very capable woman, is the sole survivor of the first film. In the second film Ripley faces off against a female alien intent on protecting her offspring.

As we envision it, the book will consist of the tentative general headings below, although we hope that potential contributors will recommend other (and better) topics:

Human and Alien Interaction

  • Body Snatching Then and Now
  • War (and Peace) Between Worlds
  • Its, Things, and Blobs—the Monstrous and Not So Monstrous Other

The Space Race

  • Recasting Race in Sci-Fi Remakes
  • The Roles of 1950s Sci-Fi in Racial Relations

It’s a Small World After All: Cultural Reappropriations of Science Fiction

  • The Influence of Hollywood’s 1950s Sci-Fi on World Cinema
  • Hollywood Remakes of Foreign Sci-Fi

Gendered Perspectives

  • Changing Gender Roles in Sci-Fi
  • Gender as Other: She Demons, Planetary Gender, and Gender Transgression

Lost Worlds and Giant Monsters

  • Lost Continents
  • Mysterious Islands
  • The Center of the Planet
  • Undersea Kingdoms
  • Forbidden Planets

Ends of the World

  • Holocausts, Nuclear and Otherwise
  • Human Influence on a Planetary Scale
  • Deserted Cities
  • Last People on Earth

If you are interested in contributing to this collection please address inquiries and chapter proposals to:

Dennis R. Perry
4171 JFSB
Brigham Young University
Provo, UT 84602


Dennis R. Cutchins
4167 JFSB
Brigham Young University
Provo, UT 84604

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