CFP for Shift: Graduate Journal of Visual and Material Culture, Issue 8

Call for Papers and Reviews!

Please see Submission and Style Guidelines below. The committee welcomes papers, book reviews and exhibition reviews dealing with visual and material culture by graduate students working in any discipline.

For further questions, please contact Co-editors Andrianna Campbell and Jonathan Patkowski at

Space, Alterity, Memory

In recent years, public protest movements such as Occupy and #BlackLivesMatter have demonstrated the ways in which political power, economic and ethnic identity, and cultural memory are closely linked to questions of space. The assembly of non-hierarchical oppositional communities in Zuccotti Park, the mass demonstrations across American cities countering police-enforced racial segregation, and the construction of precarious counter-monuments to the victims of state violence (such as the recently-destroyed memorial for Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo.) exemplify how efforts to resist and commemorate are entangled with the unequally distributed access to public space in post-Civil Rights America.

Analogous issues are at the fore throughout the Americas, Europe, Asia, the Middle East, and Africa, where new forms of local belonging and transnational immigration have revealed systematic patterns of racism and exclusion. Increasingly, public displays of xenophobia rely on essentialist notions of place and identity, which threaten fragile multicultural agreements. What happened to the utopic future of progressive cultural inclusiveness envisioned in our popular culture? Is this turn part of a cyclical longer history? What are the markers of state power, familial legacies, capital, fear and an empowered populace that allow for resistance and how do they manifest in the public arena whether virtual or real?

This special issue of Shift takes a broad view of these recent developments by exploring the interrelationships of space, alterity/identity and memory in visual and material culture. We accept papers, as well as exhibition and book reviews from a range of visually-oriented disciplines that explore such issues as:

● The status of the public monument or assembly

● Ephemeral, archival and other non-monumental forms of public memorialization

● The fate of established art historical categories such as site-specificity or monumentality

● The figure of the migrant in visual culture/the relationship between art, migration and urban space

● The contestation and occupation of public and private space

● The architectural construction of race

● The city versus the nation as art historical or museological framework

Submission Deadline:

This journal is an online publication. All submissions should be sent by email to by 01 March 2015. The journal launch will take place 01 October 2015.

Submission and Style Guidelines

Please read the following points carefully before submitting to Shift. Submissions that do not follow these regulations will not be considered for publication.

1. Authors must be registered as graduate students at the time they submit their work.

2. All reviews must conform to the style guidelines as outlined in The Chicago Manual of Style, 15th or newer edition.

3. Images should be placed in-text throughout the document, not located together at the end. All images and figures should be properly captioned according to The Chicago Manual of Style, 15th or newer edition. Authors are responsible for securing rights to all images and figures used within their paper.

Authors must produce evidence that these rights have been obtained before an image or figure will be published.

4. In order to ensure blind readings from the Editorial Committee, authors must remove any identifying information from the content of the submission.

5. Please submit a separate document with the author’s name, title of paper/review, institutional affiliation and email address.

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