From the first publication of Fleming’s James Bond novels in the 1950s, up to the troubled and controversial production of No Time To Die – the 25th Bond film–the persona and milieu of Bond has attracted scandal.
Lambasted in 1958 by Paul Johnson for “sex, snobbery, and sadism” Fleming’s novels attracted still more notoriety when they were adapted into film starting with Dr No in 1962. On the one hand, James Bond has been kept relevant by linking him to contemporary crises and scandals such as international terrorism, cyberhacking, and corporate corruption.
On the other, the persistence of Bond’s heavy drinking, womanizing, and violence have themselves been provocative, leading to such dismissals as Bond being a “sexist, misogynist, dinosaur” – a notorious verdict uttered by Judi Dench’s “M” in Goldeneye. Bond always breaks the rules, and his “licence to kill” also makes him a scandalously violent figure.
The theme of this year’s SAMLA conference – “Scandal: Literature and Provocation” – is an ideal opportunity to reflect on ways in which the character and actions of Bond continue to shock, upset and offend – as well as enthral and entertain readers and viewers. We invite papers on any aspect of sexual, political, or other “scandal” in Fleming’s novels and/or the Bond films.
Please send 300-word paper proposals, brief bios, and A/V requirements to Professor Oliver Buckton at Florida Atlantic University (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Matthew B. Sherman (email@example.com) by June 15th, 2020.
Conference dates: November 13–15, 2020
Event location details to follow.