Exploring The Orville #CFP #CFA

Exploring The Orville #CFP #CFA June 25, 2019

Call for Abstracts

Exploring The Orville

Edited by David Kyle Johnson and Michael Berry

McFarland Publishing


Please circulate and post widely.

Apologies for cross posting.


Although it was first expected to just be “Spaceballs for Star Trek,” Seth MacFarlane’s science fiction series The Orville has proved to be much more. In a way, The Orville is a cross between M*A*S*H and Star Trek; it intermixes serious social commentary and philosophical arguments with one liners and comedy bits brought to you by well developed characters that you come to know and love.

This new edited volume, Exploring The Orville, will aim to explore The Orville both philosophically and critically. The first (primary) section will include chapters that treat the series as a philosophical work—a piece of art that is making philosophical arguments and providing social commentary. Each chapter will be topical/ themed and could potentially (but not exclusively) include chapters on the arguments that The Orville seems to be making on the following subjects (using the mentioned episodes):

  • Gender and Transsexuality (“About a Girl”)
  • Feminism (“Sanctuary,” “Home,” “Firestorm,”)
  • Sexual Preference and Religious and Social Restrictions of It (“Deflectors”)
  • The Dangers of Religion (“Krill,” “Mad Idolatry,” “When The Stars Should Appear”)
  • Environmentalism and Climate Change (“When The Stars Should Appear”)
  • Technology/Human Relationships and Sexuality (“A Happy Refrain,” “Lasting Impressions”)
  • The Possibility/Dangers of AI (“Identity, Part I,” “Identity, Part II”).
  • Is Technology and/or Rationality the Solution to Society’s Problems? (“Mad Idolatry,” “Identity, Part I,” “Identity, Part II”)
  • The Logic of Time Travel (“Old Wounds,” “Pria,” “Tomorrow, Tomorrow, and Tomorrow” and “The Road Not Taken”)
  • Philosophical Skepticism/Epistemology (“Firestorm,” “Nothing Left on Earth Excepting Fishes,” “All the World is a Birthday Cake”)
  • Personal Identity (“Tomorrow, Tomorrow, and Tomorrow,” “Nothing Left on Earth Excepting Fishes”)
  • Pseudoscience and Astrology (“All the World is a Birthday Cake”)
  • Cultural Moral Relativism (“About a Girl,” “Deflectors,” “Sanctuary,” “Krill”)
  • Morality and the Ethics of Care (“Into the Fold,” Blood of Patriots”)
  • Moral Compromise, Just War, and Peaceful Relations (“Krill,” “Nothing Left on Earth Excepting Fishes,” “Blood of Patriots,” “Sanctuary”)
  • Terrorism and Patriotism (“Krill,” “Blood of Patriots”)
  • Pornography Addiction (“Primal Urges”)
  • Reality TV, Social Media, and Online Shaming (“Command Performance,” “Majority Rule”)
  • The Dangers of a Pure Democracy (“Majority Rule”)
  • Parenting (“Into the Fold,” “Ja’loja,” “A Happy Refrain”)
  • Marriage, Divorce, and Romantic Relationships (“Old Wounds,” Tomorrow, Tomorrow, and Tomorrow,” “Cupid’s Dagger,” “A Happy Refrain,” and “The Road Not Taken.”)

The second section of the book will critically explore The Orville from a media studies perspective, and could potentially (but not exclusively) include chapters on the following topics:
  • Special Effects & Set Design in The Orville
  • The Comedy Stylings of The Orville
  • The Accuracy of the Science and Technology in The Orville
  • Comparing The Orville to Star Trek. (It is parody? Does it copy too many ideas?)
  • Comparison of The Orville’s Social Commentary to that in other Science Fiction Over the Years

Abstracts and subsequent essays should be substantial but clear and accessible, written to engage the intelligent lay reader. Contributors will receive a free copy of the book, once it’s published.

  • Submission deadline for abstracts (300-500 words) and CVs: September 1st, 2019.
  • Submission deadline for drafts of accepted papers: December 1st, 2019.
  • Submission deadline for final drafts: April 1st, 2020.

The schedule for final drafts is likely to adjust to allow authors to incorporate elements from the upcoming third season into their chapters.

Kindly submit by e-mail (preferably with a Word attachment) to: davidjohnson@kings.edu


Browse Our Archives

Follow Us!