Home Original Forums Calls for Submissions Paranormal Ruptures, Call for Chapters

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    Jake Glazier

    Paranormal Ruptures:
    Critical Approaches to Exceptional Experiences
    Call for Chapters for an Edited Volume

    We invite scholars in critical theory, parapsychology, and related fields to submit a chapter proposal for an edited volume entitled, Paranormal Ruptures: Critical Approaches to Exceptional Experiences, which is under contract with Beyond The Fray Publishing.

    Traditional approaches used to investigate exceptional experiences, those strange and anomalous occurrences that defy normative explanation such as apparitions, mind-matter interaction, entity encounters, extrasensory perception, near-death experiences, and many others, have largely been lifted from experimental science. Yet, at what cost? Skeptics of the paranormal continually decry that parapsychologists and others fail to produce statistically significant, repeatability evidence for psi. By contrast, parapsychological researchers reiterate their commitment to experimental control, strict procedure, and contend that psi has been empirically demonstrated in the laboratory.

    Critical approaches to exceptional experiences bracket the notion of truth and veracity in favor of analyzing the power effects such strange events might entail. That is, how do exceptional experiences challenge meta-narratives about the human condition and the nature of reality more generally? In fact, the “text” that is the literature of parapsychology and its related disciplines is rife with minor, local, highly contextualized knowledges and tropes that when read against or alongside standard accounts shift, distort, upend, or even subvert the logic of physicalist science or the broader media-arbitrated narratives that demarcate the parameters of reality and belief. We are seeking scholars who use the lens of critical theory to examine exceptional experiences in creative and innovative ways.

    Possible topics include but are not limited to:
    ● The use of critical theories such as deconstruction, poststructuralism, critical race theory, Foucauldian analysis, feminism, queer theory, Marxism, immanentism, psychoanalysis, and so on to challenge the continued ostracization of the scholastic exploration of exceptional experiences.
    ● Science, skepticism, and power as lenses for exploring when the paranormal counts as real.
    ● Reading the tropes of parapsychology (apparitions, for example) against the grain of typical scientific texts.
    ● The disjunct between public beliefs in the paranormal and those of scientists – the figure of the expert or technician in relation to hierarchy.
    ● An antiracist or critical race theory investigation of the importance of preserving paranormal folklore and legends.
    ● Exploration of physicalist metaphors in scientific and pedagogical books.
    ● How entity encounters (non-human beings such as elves or fairies) pose a challenge to human exceptionalism.
    ● Using feminist or other critical theories to deconstruct the traditionally experimental approach in parapsychology.
    ● Non-normative sexuality and the paranormal.
    ● A Marxist analysis of how extraterrestrials or invisible entities challenge (or uphold) current capitalist hegemony.
    ● The transpersonal or spiritual experience of possession as a threat to secularism.
    ● A critical narrative analysis of mediumship and readings.
    ● Animism, ancestors, and indigenous peoples.
    ● Biographical or historical accounts of exceptional experiences that have been relayed by key, canonical figures in critical theory, parapsychology, psychology, or other sciences.

    Detailed article abstracts (300-500 words) and a brief CV should be submitted by October 31st, 2022. Submissions with detailed outlines or in a draft form will be given stronger consideration. Final chapters should be between 6000-8000 words and written according to APA 7 formatting guidelines. Chapters’ readability should be geared toward the public as much as possible. Full chapter submissions are due by February 28th, 2023. Please send materials to the editor, Jacob W. Glazier, Ph.D. at jglazier@westga.edu. You will receive confirmation that your submission has been received.

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