Author Topic: Joseph Stefano and Horror in The Outer Limits Deadline: 2021-09-30  (Read 506 times)


  • Administrator
  • Full Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 226
    • View Profile
    • Homepage
Beyond Psycho: A Critical Assessment of Joseph Stefano and Horror in The Outer Limits

Deadline: September 30, 2021
Name: Michael L Shuman / University of South Florida
We invite chapter proposals (300-500 words) for an edited volume of critical essays dealing with screenwriter Joseph Stefano and elements of horror in the 1960s television program The Outer Limits.

This edited collection, with articles from film scholars working in the fields of horror and science fiction, will examine not only Stefanoís post-Psycho accomplishments as a scriptwriter but also his importance as a producer, establishing his gothic vision as a consistent characteristic of the show. The Outer Limits, filmed in black and white, employs an expressionist cinematography uncharacteristic of other broadcasts at that time, emphasizing the gothic elements of the plots while suggesting a new category of horror noir and science fiction drama. The Outer Limits, as horror noir, employs visual elements and narrative conventions of the art-house foreign films and noir drama of the past to create an ambiance of horror while anticipating future challenges of a society confronting accelerated scientific and technological change.

Essays will be structured around Stefanoís ten filmed screenplays and two contributed story ideas, while each essay also may examine other episodes, as appropriate, to illustrate how Stefanoís horror noir themes, tropes, and characterizations pervade the entire series.

Special consideration will be given to essays emphasizing issues of gender and identity, marginalized communities and the Other, political conspiracy and surveillance, film noir conventions, and the ethical development of science and technology.

Contributors may discuss technical aspects of the productions as instruments for promoting a profound sense of dread and horror, including the haunting score by Dominic Frontiere, the impressionistic cinematography of Conrad L. Hall and Kenneth Peach, and the visual effects by Jim Danforth and the Project Unlimited team.

We especially solicit essays on the following contextual topics and episodes of The Outer Limits:


The Forms of Things Unknown

Donít Open Till Doomsday

The Mice

The Chameleon

The Invisibles

A Feasibility Study

Fun and Games

The Bellero Shield

The Moonstone

It Crawled Out of the Woodwork


            Contextual Topics:

Joseph Stefano and the Horror-Noir Narrative

Horror, Noir, and the 1960s

Black and White Horror: Images of the Other in The Outer Limits

Unreal Cities: The Collision of Ethics and Technology in The Outer Limits

Auteur Television: Joseph Stefano and The Outer Limits

Issues of Representation and Class in The Outer Limits


Deadline for submission of proposals: September 30th, 2021


Important Dates

Proposal Abstract and Author Bio: September 30th, 2021

Decision Date: October 30th, 2021

Final Version of Accepted Projects: February 28th, 2022


Proposal Submission

Interested scholars should send a 300-500 word proposal and a 150 word bio by September 30th, 2021, to

Michael L Shuman

Department of English

University of South Florida