#15   CITIES (Spring 2023)

Art and architectural histories have traditionally approached the city in terms of the monuments and structures of its built environment and the distribution of its spaces. But the city is also, after all, its people: people who occupied and inhabited buildings, shared spaces and resources, and invested in or were inspired by ideas, labor, and beliefs. How did the city make room for that sharing? How did it inhibit it? Institutional structures—those of religion, politics, the economy, of ‘police’ in the broadest early-modern sense—played an essential part in fostering conditions in which social life occurred. How exactly did that fostering happen in the eighteenth century, and what were its intended and unintended consequences? At the same time, urban dwellers, whether elite or subaltern, continually use, transform, exploit, or otherwise make a city their own; the social forms an essential context for such appropriations. How were the limits and possibilities of social life in the eighteenth-century city defined, regulated, and sustained? In what ways did different constituencies represent those limits and possibilities, and discuss and debate them? How were they made visible, made audible, made legible? And how did different categories of labor shape and support a city’s social life?

We invite proposals that engage with the questions asked above, directly addressing relations between built forms and social bodies. These are some themes that are, we feel, raised by the topic: boundaries (walls, ditches) and the exclusion or protection of the faiths, nations, and trades they helped shape; bridges and the connections they cemented between neighborhoods, markets, spaces of leisure, etc.; infrastructure (roads, water, lighting, refuse collection) and the support it gave to the lived experience of the city; beauty and the collective aspiration to care and conservation, and also to better worlds that it proposed. We welcome contributions that consider actual spaces and communities and also ones that reflect critically on projects, both unrealized and utopian. We are open to essays that take as their objects of study built form, the representation of built form and the city generally, and urban material culture (e.g. guidebooks, street maps, shoes, carriages, walking sticks).

Issue Editors
Katie Scott, Courtauld Institute of Art
Richard Wittman, University of California, Santa Barbara

Submissions for issue #15 CITIES are now closed.

#16   COLD (Fall 2023)

Feeling cool is increasingly a privilege in our ever-warming world.  Recollections of colder times have become part of the collective memory as summers lengthen and become hotter.  Cold regions of the globe, long shunned for the hardships they create, have become milder as climate change transforms their once frigid environments into pleasantly temperate zones.  And concurrently, once comfortably warm regions of the globe are becoming impossibly hot, threatening their residents with an uninhabitable future.

This special issue of Journal18 invites contributions on the relationship between temperature and the art of the long eighteenth century.  It seeks to insert eighteenth-century visual and material culture into the growing literature on historical climatology.  The eighteenth century falls squarely within the so-called Little Ice Age, a climatological phenomenon that lowered mean temperatures across the globe between the sixteenth to the mid-nineteenth centuries.  This means that much eighteenth-century art and architecture was made for a cooler world than the one in which we now live.  Moreover, the process of industrialization that began in the eighteenth century is a primary contributor to the climate change that plagues us today.

Can eighteenth-century art provide insight into climate change?  How did an Enlightenment understanding of temperature inflect the period’s visual and material cultures?  Can we trace different perceptions of temperature internationally through images and objects?  Potential topics include the relationship between architecture and temperature, such as the technologies used to keep buildings warm or cool; the material culture of gauging temperature (thermometers, barometers, hygrometers, etc.); pictorial representations of extreme climates, e.g., the tropics or the Arctic; the relationship between theories of climate and the representation of peoples; clothing and temperature; the sub-Arctic north as a cultural space and its place in the period’s art; the visualization of industrialization; and conservation problems in preserving eighteenth-century things in a warming world.

Issue Editor
Michael Yonan, University of California, Davis

Proposals for issue #16 Cold are now closed.

#17   COLOR (Spring 2024)

The question of color has been at the center of artistic debates at least since the seventeenth century, and it has remained a key issue in the historiography of art. What may be at stake in reconsidering color in its historical dimensions now? Recent research on the issue has gone in two directions. On the one hand, color has been studied as a material substance and a technology. Scholars have documented the relation between technological, industrial, and commercial developments and the quality, range, and availability of pigments and colorants available to artists, manufacturers, and consumers. Another approach has focused on the key role of color in the construction of social, racial, and gender hierarchies. Recent scholarship has revealed the intimate connection between aesthetic debates on chroma and the development of the modern discourse of race. Moreover, the eighteenth century’s feminization of color entangled with the notions of make-up and artifice has been reexamined. Clearly, it is no longer viable to think of color in purely aesthetic, ideologically innocent terms.

This issue of Journal18 aims to consider how the current interest in materiality and the matter of art could be harnessed to alter–enrich, complicate, or challenge–our understanding of the historical functions and social and cultural meanings of color in the long eighteenth century. In what ways may the materialist discussion of color as a substance inflect the account of its ideological and discursive functions? What were the new meanings and effects of color as the physical product and sign of growing global trade networks, colonial and slave economies, and expanding empires? How did colored materials­­––pigments, dyes, feathers, shells, minerals––serve as tools of hybridity and a means to delineate cultural difference? Can color’s inherent capacity for infinite nuance offer modern art historians alternative lenses onto to the past? We welcome papers that are attuned to color’s mobility, look beyond Western Europe, and decentralize Euro-centric narratives. We are especially interested in papers that consider the broader methodological questions raised by their subject and seek to develop tools to address the urgent issues posed by color.

Issue Editors
Ewa Lajer-Burcharth, Harvard University
Thea Goldring, Harvard University

Proposals for issue #17 Color are now being accepted. Deadline for proposals: April 1, 2023.

To submit a proposal, send an abstract (250 words) and brief biography to the following three addresses: [email protected][email protected], and [email protected]. Articles should not exceed 6000 words (including footnotes) and will be due by September 1, 2023. For further details on submission and Journal18 house style, see Information for Authors.

Further future issues will be advertised soon.