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[Commlist] Call for papers_Imperial Views: colonial visualities and processes of visual decolonization
Thu Jun 20 11:38:15 GMT 2019
*Call for papers*
*vista - visual culture journal*
*Imperial Views: colonial visualities and processes of visual
In recent years, there has been an increased access and interest in the
archives produced by the European colonizing countries and those
provided from the archives of the countries that have become
independent. This interest is partly due to the end of the legal
barriers that prevented access to or dissemination to these archives.
Moreover, after several decades of decolonization processes, which
caused traumas and misunderstandings between the actors of both
factions, a new generation of academics and non-academics aims to better
understand these stories. On the other hand, the work of digitizing some
of these assets has made it possible to reveal the very existence of the
archives, facilitating their visibility and contributing to their
reception outside the restricted group of political and social
historians. Thus, in literature, journalism, cinema, anthropology, the
history of science, photography and the arts, between theorists, as well
as between artists and other protagonists of the world of culture, a
critical work is being produced concerning these objects of the
contemporary history of the twentieth century, whose effects are still felt.
The number 5 of the journal VISTA uses the notion of "sight", in its
diversity of meanings, to propose a debate on the colonial and
postcolonial regimes of visuality and their contemporary relevance.
The idea of "Imperial Views" is based on the famous article by W. J. T.
Mitchell entitled “Imperial Landscapes”, published originally in the
Landscape and Power (Chicago: Chicago University Press, 2002). In this
article, the American researcher disputed the interpretation that the
landscape genre was specifically a genre of painting, as well as a
modern and Western genre (Clark, 1979). To dethrone the two arguments,
the author pointed out to the Chinese painting and to the earlier
Greco-Roman mural paintings, to come up with another interpretation:
landscape genre flourishes in imperial regimes and uses all available
media. In these contexts, images of the whole, which characterize the
idea of landscape - a wide, distant view of a large part of a terrain or
geography (the general shot in cinema) - become a means to affirm
identity, a policy of identity between self and others, both located in
space and time. Mitchell contested, therefore, that landscape genre was
a mere affirmation of the aesthetics (Gombrich, 1950) to defend the
alternative version that landscape (both the representation and the
object represented, site and sight) is a (more or less) powerful form of
political struggle, which always conceals a "dark side" (Barrell,1983),
which is always a "social formation" (Cosgrove, 1984 ) and which has its
field forces, its distributions of subjects and powers: "landscape
circulates as a medium of exchange, a site of visual appropriation, a
focus for the formation of identity “(Mitchell, 1994: 2).
In this edition of VISTA, we use the motto of "landscape" to interrogate
the production of images that can directly reflect on these imperial
regimes, but we are not limited exclusively to landscapes, in their
strictest sense, or exclusively to images. Although, it is a requirement
for the acceptance of paper proposals, their relation to the themes and
approaches of Visual Culture.
In the field of Visual Culture, we are interested in turning the images
deposited in colonial archives into the central objects of reflection
and interpretation, as performative media that were constructed and
construct the stories they also testify. In this edition, we intend to
highlight the visual production, hidden in the archives (photographs,
films, engravings and drawings, maps, paintings, videos, objects, etc)
and their various modes of use related to the colonial topic - whether
the archives are institutional or personal, public or private, national
or international. We are also interested in bringing to this issue of
VISTA, reflections about the invisible, what was left out of the field,
the interdicts, the codes of visuality that transcend the practice of
images but organize it, the ethics of the visible and of the invisible.
We also call for propositions on the role played by Digital Humanities
within the contemporary framework of network communication, not only
concerning online archives and museums, but also on the dissemination of
these " imperial sights” in the internet, and of their eventual images
In short, we welcome contributions to debate the politics of images and
views in colonial and post colonial contexts and their contemporary
Barrell, J. (1983). The Dark Side of the Landscape: The Rural Poor in
English Painting 1730-1840. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Clark, K. (1979). Landscape into Art. New York, Hagerstown, San
Francisco and London: Harper&Row Publishers.
Cosgrove, D. (1984). Social Formation and Symbolic Landscape. Madison:
University of Wisconsin Press.
Gombrich, E. (1950). The Renaissance Theory of Art and The Rise of
Landscape. In Norm and Form. Studies in the Art of the Renaissance (pp.
107–122). London: Phaidon Press.
Mitchell, W. J. T. (1994/2002). Imperial landscape. In W. J. T. Mitchell
(Ed.), Landscape and power (2nd ed., pp. 5–34). Chicago and London: The
University of Chicago Press.
*VISTA - visual culture journal* is a peer-reviewed journal and operates
under a double blind review process. Each submitted work will be send to
two reviewers previously invited to evaluate it, in accordance with the
academic quality, originality and relevance for the objectives and scope
of the issue of this edition of the journal. Articles can be submitted
in English, Portuguese, Spanish and French to the e-mails of the invited
editors:(teresaflores /at/ fcsh.unl.pt) <mailto:(teresaflores /at/ fcsh.unl.pt)>;
(Cecilia.Jardemar /at/ konstfack.se) <mailto:(Cecilia.Jardemar /at/ konstfack.se)>.
Guidelines for authors can be found here
*Invited editors*: Teresa Mendes Flores (FCSH-NOVA; Universidade
Lusófona) and Cecília Järdemar (Konstfack University of Arts, Stockholm)
Submission: 2 September 2019
Notification: 2 October 2019
Date of publication: 20 December 2019
*The full call for papers and author
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