We seek contributions for a volume of collected essays related to artist Allyson Mitchell’s Killjoy’s Kastle: A Lesbian Feminist Haunted House. This large-scale installation and performance invites visitors to walk-through an unconventional gallery space designed in the tradition of carnivals, evangelical Christian fright nights, and lesbian feminist direct action aesthetics. The project, initially staged in Toronto (in collaboration with the Art Gallery of York University) in the fall of 2013, has since shown in London (at the British Film Institute, 2014) and will soon travel to Los Angeles (by invitation from ONE National Lesbian and Gay Archives, 2015), engaging a range of queer and feminist publics in interactive encounters with the frightening spirits that haunt feminist and queer history. Assembled with the help of fifteen artists, the finished Kastle staged in Toronto featured thirty performers; they brought to life the monstrous, abject, and horrifying status of unassimilated queers and feminists in the political imaginary, playing polyamorous vampiric grannies, ball busters, “lesbian” zombie folk singers, and real-life feminist killjoys, among other roles. Thousands of visitors have toured the Kastle to date and the project has reached thousands more through heated media coverage and online dialog. The Killjoy’s Kastle book seeks to further the project’s public role by extending these dialogs through the realm of publishing. In addition to essays that engage directly with the work, we seek contributions that further critical conversations about themes raised by the project.
The Killjoy’s Kastle book is co-edited by Allyson Mitchell (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Cait McKinney (email@example.com). We invite proposals on a range of topics related to Killjoy’s Kastle, but are especially interested in work that considers the project in relation to the themes outlined below. We seek a balance of essays from established and emerging scholars and writers.
The art of abjection or horror
Queer temporalities or the archive
Historical traditions of the carnival, fright-night, Christian hell houses, or other horror genres
Contemporary art and queer or feminist historiography
The role of race and intersectional feminisms in remembering histories
Feminist publics, controversy, digital feminisms
Textiles, installation, and/or performance traditions
The making-of: collective work processes and practice-based research
Formally we seek two types of written contributions: more traditional research essays ranging from 3,000–5,000 words, and shorter, more informal snapshots or offerings (500–1,000 words) that might focus closely on one aspect of the Kastle: for example, a close interpretation of one diorama or work from within the installation, or a personal narration of encountering the Kastle in relation to the themes set out above.
Proposals of 300-500 words can be sent to: firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com. Please indicate in your proposal if you plan to write a longer essay or a shorter piece. Please include a short bio with your proposal. We would like to receive proposals by July 15, 2015.