#5 COORDINATES (Spring 2018)

Digital Mapping & 18th-century Visual, Material, and Built Cultures

Art history’s digital turn has been stimulated by the possibilities of spatial research.  Spurred by the collection, preservation, and distribution of art historical data in digital space—practices that have both collapsed and expanded our own discursive geographies—scholars have exploited the potential of geospatial analysis for art historical study. These new methods are particularly promising for the study of the early modern world, which has been fruitfully understood through the prisms of connections and exchanges that crossed world regions and defied the boundaries drawn on static maps. Digital mapping platforms and applications like CartoDB, Neatline, ArcGIS, Leaflet, and MapBox have made it possible, for example, to visualize the movement of people, such as artists, through temporal and geographic space, thus allowing us to reimagine personal and material contacts in tangible ways. Moreover, the dynamic lives of mobile and fungible objects can be displayed in extended and often circuitous trajectories, thus encouraging the kind of nonlinear visual analysis that is foundational to the practice of art history. Georectification tools have further facilitated the reconciliation of historical figurations of space with contemporary visualizations, which allows competing spatial narratives to coexist productively in a digital realm, while also challenging the magisterial view offered by modern cartography.

In this issue of Journal18, we seek to feature current scholarship that relies on the analytical power provided by digital mapping interfaces for the study of visual, material, and built cultures during the long eighteenth century. How do digital humanities methods and tools shape our understanding of space and place in the early modern period? What impact might digital mapping have on our historical investigations of people, objects, and their environments? Submissions may take the form of an article (up to 6000 words) or a project presented through a digital platform that takes full advantage of Journal18’s online format. We also welcome proposals for shorter vignettes (around 2,500 words) that reflect on projects in progress or consider the potential for particular mapping methodologies for eighteenth-century art history.

Issue Editors
Carrie Anderson, Middlebury College
Nancy Um, Binghamton University

Submissions for issue #5 Coordinates are now closed.

 


#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.

Proposals for #7 ANIMAL are now being accepted. Deadline for proposals: 1 April 2018. To submit a proposal, please specify whether you intend to write an article (6,000 words) or a shorter vignette (2,500 words).  Send an abstract (200 words) and a brief CV to editor@journal18.org and katherine.s.hornstein@dartmouth.edu.

Issue editor
Katie Hornstein, Dartmouth College