Call for Abstracts: Avatar: The Last Airbender and Philosophy

Call for Abstracts

Avatar: The Last Airbender and Philosophy

Edited by Helen De Cruz and Johan De Smedt

The Blackwell Philosophy and Pop Culture Series

Please circulate and post widely.

Apologies for cross posting.

To propose ideas for future volumes in the Blackwell series please contact the Series Editor, William Irwin, at

We are seeking submissions from philosophers, and also from scholars from fields such as Asian studies, indigenous studies, religious studies, and Chinese studies.

Abstracts and subsequent essays should be philosophically substantial but accessible, written to engage the intelligent lay reader. Contributors of accepted essays will receive an honorarium.

Possible themes and topics might include, but are not limited to, the following:

“Hope is a gift you give yourself”: Iroh’s conception of hope in a bleak world;  Just war theory: why the Fire Nation ought not to have expanded through conquest; “There is no war in Ba Sing Se”: on surveillance, propaganda and denialism in the Earth Nation; Why Ozai is a terrible leader: using Confucian or Mohist philosophy to explain the shortcomings of the Fire Lord’s rule; The philosophy behind martial art styles, fictional and actual: the groundedness of Earth bending versus the fluidity of water bending; All things are connected: Daoist conceptions of oneness in the four nations; Katara, Sokka, and gender equality in the Water Tribes; How is Aang the same person as Roku or Kyoshi? Reincarnation and the identity problem; What does “restoring my honor” mean for Zuko?; Toph and Teo: two contrasting visions of disability; Inuit philosophy and the authentic person: Katara’s becoming Inummarik; “Why am I so bad at being good?” On Zuko’s ethical transformation; The meaning of the seven chakras and their implications for spiritual and physical health and wellbeing; The genocide of the Air Nomads; The importance of tea-making in ethical cultivation; On the limits of using bending powers: Is blood bending morally wrong if it serves a good purpose? Does blood bending violate the categorical imperative?; What’s so special about bending? On the difference between benders and non-benders; Katara’s model of compassionate leadership; Keeping the world of Avatar in balance: Fichte and Hegel – thesis, antithesis, synthesis

Submission Guidelines:

  1. Submission deadline for abstracts (300-500 words) and CVs: February 1, 2021.
  2. Submission deadline for drafts of accepted papers: August 2, 2021.

Kindly submit by e-mail (with or without Word attachment) to:





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