For a Special Section on Boyhood and Film to be published in the Fall 2015 issue of Boyhood Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal (Berghahn Journals), we are inviting short essays, articles and commentaries (3,000-6,000 words) on boys/boyhood as a cinematic theme.
We do so in celebration of the 10th anniversary of *Where the Boys Are: Cinemas of Masculinity and Youth* (eds. Murray Pomerance and Frances Gateward, Wayne State University Press, 2005). Its contributors focused on "the process whereby masculinities are socially, historically, economically, aesthetically, and psychologically created in male coming-of-age as depicted onscreen" (8) from various angles. It was a timely collection. Its editors duly pointed out that, whereas in film boyhood has long held a central place, at the time "virtually no material [had] appeared in print in an organized and schematic way to discuss aspects of boyhood itself, especially boyhood onscreen" (8).
Boyhood remains a timely subject. It is, of course, the title and topic of this year's winner of the Golden Globe Award for Best Motion Picture–Drama and of the BAFTA Award for Best Film, and a six-fold Oscar nominee including one for Best Motion Picture of the Year. Written and directed by Richard Linklater, Boyhood (2014) was shot intermittently over the course of a twelve-year period, following a Texan boy from age six to eighteen. Its nominations have been greeted with the usual controversy. One commentator characterized the film as "an instant epic […] a compendium of beliefs and symptoms, tropes and icons, all wrapped up in a seemingly simple film that's as conceptually rich as it is emotionally affecting" (B. Ruby Rich, in Film Quarterly, fall 2014). Indeed: how does boyhood invite or resist either the analytic distance and hindsight implied in the term or the prospective follow-up winning one film so many accolades? In film, which tropes and icons allow themselves to be wrapped up under the singular heading of Boyhood? What of the (racial, national, class, gender?) singularities thus captured? If male coming-of-age still pertains to "a cultural taboo of sorts", as Pomerance and Gateward wrote in 2005, what sort of a taboo are we (still) (not) looking at? What, more broadly speaking, does cinema do for, or to, Boyhood Studies? How do concepts and affects around boys meet and mingle on screen and how, if indeed, at the analytic cross-roads of "young masculinities"? Do or can film makers re-direct the cultural diagnostics—indeed, the symptomatological bent—seen to inform many academic frames for men’s becoming?
Reflections on past as well as contemporary cinema's boys and boyhoods, including Boyhood (2014), all fall within the scope of the Special Section.
Submissions are due July 1, 2015 (later submissions might be honored after timely notification). Submit manuscripts, and all queries, to firstname.lastname@example.org . Please follow the Chicago Manual of Style, 16th edition.
About Boyhood Studies: http://journals.berghahnbooks.com/bhs/