We know the Barbie movie made a big impression on Literary Mamas, so we wanted to share an opportunity with you:
“Barbenheimer Convergence”: Moneymaker or (Feminist) Intervention?
Co-editors: Carolyn Jacobs, Anna Young and Karen A. Ritzenhoff (Central Connecticut State University)
We are seeking submissions for an anthology about the intersection of Barbie (Greta Gerwig, 2023) and Oppenheimer (Christopher Nolan, 2023). You can either write about the individual film or about their convergence with concurrent release and promotion.
Greta Gerwig is the first American female director to date to break the one-billion-dollar profit margin with the release of Barbie. Despite the sarcastic depiction of the Mattel board room as led by an autocratic CEO with his infantile, exclusively male following of eager subordinates (who want Barbie “back in the box”), the corporation that produces Barbie dolls and merchandise has greatly profited from the film’s financial success. As a matter of fact, the film even depicts a warehouse where “Kens” are flying off the shelves when “Kendom” replaces “Barbieland” and new toys have been produced to meet the demands of a growing consumer base. While the members of the Mattel board are chasing after the Barbie-on-the-loose, and enter Kenland with their dark suits and ties, the real corporation is greatly invigorated by the commercial success of Gerwig’s summer blockbuster. So, the question seems justified: Is the movie a mere Moneymaker or (Feminist) Intervention?
One of the successes of the summer marketing campaign was the connection between Barbie and Oppenheimer by director Christopher Nolan. While Barbie is consumed with deconstructing gender depictions and clichés, Oppenheimer focuses on the hyper-masculine world of the U.S. military-industrial complex and the development of the atomic bomb in Los Alamos, which was ultimately dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki at the end of WWII. In the grassroots promotion of both films that were released to cinemas on the same weekend, regular consumers merged the attire and environment of both films into a gendered display of distinctly different worlds that could be coded as traditionally feminine (pink) and masculine (black and white).
We encourage submissions that look at either film individually or in conjunction with each other to study the “Barbenheimer convergence.” We hope that this volume will cover a broad spectrum of disciplines and topics.
250-word abstracts and short bios should be submitted to the co-editors by January 15, 2024.
First drafts of 6000 words essays (including citations) will be due by May 15, 2024 in MLA