#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

Submissions for issue #8 Self/Portrait are closed.


#9 FIELD NOTES (Spring 2020)

How do we understand the study of eighteenth-century art today? What are its objects of study, and how do we think, write, and teach about them? Where, and when, do we locate “the eighteenth century”? This issue, based on a November 2018 conference organized by the Historians of Eighteenth-Century Art and Architecture (HECAA) will map out the questions and approaches driving the field today, and propose new directions for its future.

HECAA was established in 1993 at a vibrant moment in the evolution of the “new” art history in the United States, in an effort to carve a place for the study of eighteenth-century art in a discipline that had only just begun to acknowledge it. A quarter of a century later, buoyed by a membership that had increased ten-fold and an utterly transformed publishing landscape (including the founding of Journal18), an anniversary conference was convened at a moment of new challenges in the discipline. Hosted by the Department of Art History at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas, the HECAA at 25 conference convened 160 scholars of the field to survey its history, present current scholarly research and pedagogical initiatives, and consider possible trajectories for the future of eighteenth-century art history.

Field Notes will explore the debates that were generated by the HECAA at 25 conference and raise new questions about the direction of the field. These Field Notes will take two different forms: essays by early-career scholars showcasing new directions in research; and a roundtable by conference participants highlighting the most pressing issues facing, and defining, the present and future of the field. Among these issues will be: the importance of place and the possibilities of a “global eighteenth century,” the turn toward materiality and material culture, the impact of the digital humanities on teaching and scholarship, and the limits of the “long eighteenth century.”

Issue Editors
Amy Freund, Southern Methodist University

Submissions for issue #9 Field Notes are closed.


More future issues will be advertised soon.