Beyond Life and Death: Twin Peaks at Thirty

Call for papers

‘I have no idea where this will lead us, but I have a definite feeling it will be a place both wonderful and strange.’

This online conference celebrates David Lynch and Mark Frost’s Twin Peaks, which has shaken Gothic television into something new, wonderful and strange. It will be held on June 12th 2021, two days after the 30th anniversary of Lynch’s stunning finale to season two. We welcome papers that engage with all aspects of the series, from its pilot in 1990; to its 1992 spin-off, Fire Walk with Me; to its return in 2017.

Twin Peaks is known for its mastery of the uncanny, its defiance of convention, and its idiosyncratic characters. Cherry pie and death often appear in the same mouthful, and this seamless blending of the ethereal and the everyday makes it rich for Gothic enquiry. With this in mind, we hope that ‘Beyond Life and Death: Twin Peaks at Thirty’ will reflect the horror, humour and hybridity that make the series so special.

We are seeking proposals for traditional conference papers but also for creative and creative critical work, including short film pieces, that engages with Lynch and Frost’s masterpiece.

The conference will be held online as a one-day symposium, and papers can be presented live, with or without a PowerPoint, or recorded in advance. Films must be submitted in advance. All pieces must not exceed 15 minutes, as this will allow us to ensure that there is time for audience members to ask questions at the end of each session.

Proposals should be no longer than 300 words and should be submitted alongside a 50 word bionote. Please include your university affiliation if you have one, though independent researchers and creators are equally welcome to submit.

Proposals are due on 3rd May 2021. We will respond to most proposals once the deadline has passed, though we will endeavour to respond to proposals for short films in advance to provide more time for production. If you are submitting a short film or recorded presentation, these are due by 6th June 2021, ahead of the symposium on the 12th.

Please send proposals and any questions to twinpeaksatthirty@gmail.com. You can also find us on Twitter at @TwinPeaksThirty or contact the organisers at @leonie_rowland and @BronteSchiltz.

Suggested topics

  • Gender, sexuality and relationships
  • Race and nationality
  • Age and ageing
  • Economics
  • History, geography and folklore
  • Art and set design
  • Food and consumption
  • Technology and the digital
  • Genre, hybridity and ambiguity
  • Abuse, family breakdown and dysfunctionality
  • Doubling, doppelgängers and the uncanny
  • Recordings, artefacts and the epistolary
  • Animals and nature
  • Memory and trauma
  • Dreams, sleep and sleepwalking
  • Nuclear anxieties