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Literature Film Quarterly ISSN 2573-7597 SPRING 2024

VOL.52, NO. 2

SPRING 2024   ISSN 2573-7597

Editorial Note:

It’s rare that a submission to LFQ makes me gasp, sit back, take a deep breath, and think about a new future of academic enquiry. This was the impact of reading Jeff O’Malley’s critique of Stanley Kubrick’s Lolita “as it minimizes and distorts issues of sexual abuse in ways that search for societal acceptability and commercial success.” O’Malley tears down a cinematic monument with conviction, and the impact of his work is both confronting and electric. When my colleague Ryan Conrath and I decided to publish his article on Kubrick’s Lolita, we quickly agreed on doing something we had never done before—approaching a first-time author for LFQ to consider being Guest Editor for a special issue. The issue would be devoted to “abuse studies,” a collection of essays bringing buried stories of abuse above ground and inviting our readers to confront the painful truths of abuse in a freeing way. “Brave” is not a strong enough word for O’Malley’s guest introduction here, let alone the vision of this entire issue. We hope it will herald a new era of open conversation. Contrary to how it might sound, “abuse studies” is not so much about being locked in the sadnesses of the past so much as it is about honoring the truths of survivors in the present. This issue is a call to action for more work like it, along with being true to LFQ’s belief that our personal and professional beliefs must positively intersect if we are to live for a hopeful future. With humility and gratitude to Jeff O’Malley, the authors he assembled for this issue, and our guest peer reviewers: Laura L. Finley (Barry University) and Terrie Waddell (La Trobe University), I am thrilled by the significance of the contents below. Dear Reader, please take your time with these contents as they may be hard to process: we hope you will give yourself the time and grace to do so.