Carrie Fisher Comes Alive


 Princess Leia Speaks: Celebrity, Drugs and Relationships in Wishful Drinking:

This chapter draws primarily on Carrie Fisher’s one-woman show Wishful Drinking to explore themes in her life, including celebrity, her own and that of her parents and ex-partner, drug use in her life, and quality and types of relationships she’s had.

The essay will appear in an academic volume about Carrie Fisher.

Book Proposal

Our Blessed Rebel Queen: Essays on Carrie Fisher

Co-editors Linda Mizejewski and Tanya D. Zuk

Following her death in 2016, the public mourning of Carrie Fisher revealed the breadth of her impact as star, feminist icon, and mental health advocate.  We are proposing an anthology on Fisher that will appeal not only to academics, but also to her fans.   In addition to analyzing Fisher’s work as a performer, writer, comedian, and advocate, this anthology aims to provide insight into the role of celebrity in social issues of gender inequality, mental health, substance addiction, and political resistance. Also, because Carrie Fisher and Princess Leia are inextricably linked in the popular imagination, many of these essays explore the character of Leia, fandom’s use of the character, and Fisher’s relationship to this icon.   

This project began with a panel on this topic at the 2018 Society for Cinema and Media Studies Conference, where we received a great deal of interest and much enthusiasm for a collection of essays.   While there is considerable published scholarship on Star Wars and the Princess Leia character, nothing has so far been published on Fisher’s stardom, so we see this book as an opportunity for a cutting-edge exploration of Fisher’s impact.  Similar anthologies on individual stars who have left a large cultural footprint include Poitier Revisited: Reconsidering a Black Icon in the Obama Age (Bloomsbury Academic, 2014); Dietrich Icon (Duke University Press, 2007); Refocusing Chaplin: A Screen Icon through Critical Lenses (Scarecrow, 2013); All the Available Light: A Marilyn Monroe Reader (Simon & Schuster, 2002); and Perspectives on Orson Welles (G. K. Hall, 1995).

The distinction of our Carrie Fisher anthology is its interdisciplinary approach, which is rare for book-length stardom studies and necessitated by Fisher’s wide-ranging influence in feminist activism and mental health initiatives.  These essays draw from a variety of methodologies, including empirical research, cultural analysis, and the personal essay.  They also draw from a wide variety of theoretical frameworks and fields of study, including audience & fan studies, feminist theory, queer theory, autobiography studies, celebrity studies, comedy studies, media studies, and scholarship in public health/mental health.  We project scholars from all these areas as our target readers. 

Our contributors include well-known experts in their fields as well as junior scholars and emerging voices.  All our essays are original and written for this volume.  We expect a length of 98,0000 words, not including bibliography and endnotes.   We would like to include 28 illustrations. We have not submitted this proposal to any other press.

Table of Contents

  • Linda Mizejewski and Tanya Zuk, “Introduction”

Fisher as a Writer

  • Shelley Cobb, “’I’m expecting a breakthrough any decade now:’ the Writing and Rewriting of Carrie Fisher”

  • Linda Mizejewski, “Carrie Fisher’s Memoirs From the Edge: Comedy, Autobiography, and Stardom”

  • Ken Feil, “Postcards from the Valley of the Broads: Carrie Fisher, Jacqueline Susann, and Feminist Camp Authorship”

Image and Icon

  • Philipp Dominik Keidle, “The Gender of Star Wars Historiography: Memories of Carrie Fisher Fan-Produced Histories”

  • Jennifer M. Fogel, “Who Owns Carrie Fisher? A Complicated Entanglement of Imagined (and Licensed) Ownership” 

  • Andrew Kemp, “’Our Princess, Our General . . . Our Friend:’ Carrie Fisher and Simulacral Performance” 

  • William Proctor, “Slave Leias at a Convention: Testing the Ideology of Female Fans’ Star Wars Cos-Playing Practices” 

  • Eve Smith, “Social Media and Star Wars Fantasy in the Public Mourning of Carrie Fisher” 

Mental Health Advocacy

  • Cynthia Hoffner and Sejung Park,  “Carrie Fisher’s Mental Health Advocacy”

  • Slade Kinnecott, "Threshold Guardian to Space Mom: Here But For the Sake of Carrie, Go I"


  • Kristen Anderson Wagner, “Carrie Fisher, Debbie Reynolds, and the Aging Unruly Actress”

  • Andrea Baker, “Princess Leia Speaks: Celebrity, Drugs, and Relationships in Wishful Drinking"

Activism and the Feminist Imagination

  • Tanya D. Zuk, “’Carrie Fisher Sent Me:’ Gendered Political Protest, Star Wars, and the 2017 Women’s March” 

  • Kate Sang, “A Woman’s Place is in the Resistance: Carrie Fisher’s Life and Art”