#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 #7 Animals are 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

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.