#6 ALBUMS (Fall 2018)

The Culture of Albums in the Long 18th Century

Selecting, collecting, classifying, curating, displaying, narrating, disseminating, transporting, entertaining, educating, subverting: what other single object does all of that at once? Ordering knowledge through the rationale of a sequenced and empirical display of data (visual, textual, material), the album became an archetypical site of the eighteenth century’s way of thinking about and representing the world. Neither a treatise implementing a master-hypothesis nor a random gathering of material, albums can be described as both hybrid and structured objects. They have the physical structure of a book and the appearance of a narrative but are also pure displays, a rhetorical organization of iconic discourses and a virtual folding or unfolding of a larger idea having a specific program. They simultaneously contain pictorial imagery (paintings, cut-ups, and, later in the nineteenth century, photographs) and are themselves artistic creations. They provide microcosmic and portable representations of a polity, a culture or an individual. Unexpected mixtures of media and topics also form the repertoire of many albums. They invite us to think through regimes of readability, visibility and seriality. Often studied for their contents rather than as creations in their own right, albums raise many important questions regarding their status as archival or museum objects. Their contrived nature makes them ideal objects to be studied in terms of social practice, identity politics and interconnectedness. They invoke relationships, compositions and collectivity. The album offers a very fertile ground for probing the material and intellectual productivity of cultures.

What does album-making tell us about cultural and individual identities? And how do these identities utilize and make sense of this specific practice? How do albums work iconographically and textually? What is their historical significance and how can we interpret them? For Issue 6 of Journal18, we invite papers that explore these and related questions to appraise this hitherto neglected object of our discipline. In particular we call for an investigation of parallel developments of albums around the globe across the long 18th Century (1650-1850), as well as the theoretical debates informing notions of serialization and authenticity. Drawing upon neighboring fields of anthropology, literary criticism, philosophy and museum studies, we invite scholars to think about these objects as ubiquitous and intimately interconnected artefacts, and to investigate them within cultures of imperialism, colonialism, identity politics and theoretical approaches of artistic hybridity and difference.

Issue Editor
Nebahat Avcioglu, Hunter College/CUNY

Submissions for issue #6 Albums are now closed.

 


#7 ANIMAL (Spring 2019)

Recently scholars across the humanities have been examining the role animals play in representations across media, cultures, and historical moments. While art historians have begun to turn their attention to animality, the most intensive efforts on the part of humanities scholars have been located in literary disciplines and have tended to embrace activist and theoretically-based approaches. Why has art history been slower than other humanities disciplines to contend with animality? Has art history’s traditional humanistic focus precluded critical and theoretical thinking about animals as more than just symbols and subject matter within visual representation, especially with regard to art made before the nineteenth century? In devising his theory of humanistic art history, for example, Erwin Panofsky enacted a series of exclusions and disavowals that celebrated the uniqueness of human object-making and ideation, with a sharp separation between nature and culture. In response to a history of art that has traditionally celebrated and elevated works of art as the highest of human achievements, animal studies presents a potentially destabilizing challenge: how do animals structure our understanding of what it is to be human?

The Spring 2019 issue for Journal18 seeks contributions from scholars who work at the intersections of art history, visual and material culture, and animal studies. Articles should use the historical frame of the long-eighteenth century (c. 1660-1830) to address the animal as an actor, agent, and formative presence within art’s histories. Contributions might address how the figure of the animal and ideas about animality contest the preeminence of human-based subjectivities that have traditionally (and perhaps necessarily) structured art historical approaches to visual representation. Authors might also ask questions that revolve around the circulation and exchange of animal-based products in the burgeoning global economy of the eighteenth century.  Articles that address the unique signifying power of visual representations of animals across media and consider how images depict animals as responsive subjects are equally welcome.  Submissions may take the form of an article (up to 6000 words) or a shorter vignette (no more than 2,500 words).

For authors who have their submissions selected, there will be a study day held in New York City in early September 2018, ahead of the due date of October 15, 2018 for completed texts.  This will be an opportunity to present research, share ideas, and receive feedback before handing in your final articles. For any contributors unable to travel to New York, we aim to make remote participation possible via weblinks.

Issue editor
Katie Hornstein, Dartmouth College

Submissions for issue #6 Albums are now closed.

 


#8 SELF/PORTRAIT (Fall 2019)

This issue of Journal18  explores artworks, objects, spaces, performances and other visual or material productions that engaged with the self during the long eighteenth century. Rather than a study of “self-portraits” per se, this issue is concerned with expanded definitions of both the “self” and the “portrait,” seeking to deepen our sense of how self-expression, self-perception, and self-representation were understood in the long eighteenth century.

Enlightenment philosophy defined modern conceptions of the individual and the self. Not coincidentally, the eighteenth century was also a period in which representations of the self took on a new prominence in artistic practice, becoming sites of innovation and experimentation in a range of visual and material forms. Across the long eighteenth century, self-representation emerged as a crucial space for navigating the individual’s place in society, for pushing the boundaries of artistic convention, and for exploring perceptions of the corporeal self. As institutional restrictions on art were challenged, as new movements redefined who and what the artist was, and as a new emphasis on introspection and subjectivity developed, the eighteenth century witnessed a shift in the artist’s relationship with the self.

We invite proposals for articles that explore artistic engagements with the self in any media, from any cultural context, at any moment across the long eighteenth century. How was art used to explore the self? Beyond mere self-fashioning, how did eighteenth-century artists use portraits (in whatever shape or form) to interrogate, examine, relate, express and communicate? Outside of conventional self-portrayals, how did artists inscribe themselves in their works (e.g. through signatures or self-referential codings)? Of particular interest are proposals that explore unexpected modes or materials of self-portrayal (e.g. architectural self-portraits, porcelain self-portraits, or combinations of word and image) or that take up pertinent issues of methodology (e.g. questions of biography and its problematic place in art-historical writing).

Issue Editors
Melissa Hyde, University of Florida
Hannah Williams, Queen Mary University of London

Proposals for issue #8 Self/Portrait are now being accepted. Deadline for proposals: September 21, 2018.

To submit a proposal, send an abstract (250 words) and brief biography to editor@journal18.org and mlhyde@ymail.com. Articles should not exceed 6000 words (including footnotes) and will be due on April 7, 2019. For further details see Information for Authors.