CFP Enslavement and Material Culture Winterthur Portfolio April 15 deadline

Jennifer Van Horn's picture

REMINDER CALL FOR PAPERS: Winterthur Portfolio invites proposals for a special issue: “Enslavement and Material Culture” 

DUE DATE: April 15


Twenty years ago, Winterthur Portfolio published a special issue: “Race and Ethnicity in American Material Life” which has become a standard source for scholars and students. In the decades since, race—in particular slavery—has emerged as an ever more vital subject of inquiry. Scholars have recognized slavery as a fundamental force in shaping not only North America’s past, but also its present and future. 


We seek essays that examine how materiality was critical in the development, spread, and rejection of enslavement, as well as the vital role artifacts played for enslaved people of African and/or indigenous descent. We ask how material and visual artifacts used or produced in North America, including the Caribbean, have been instrumental in forging slavery and its afterlives. We question how objects participated in the rejection of slavery and the material expression of freedom. We are also interested in articles about object interpretation by museums, archives, and historical sites and in archaeological collections, buildings, or spaces associated with enslavement. 


Our goal is to explore how slavery informs American material culture study today. We will consider essays that are case studies of individual artifacts, buildings, or makers, studies of collections of artifacts, or historiographical pieces, but are especially eager to see work that engages with current theoretical perspectives on materiality and slavery. We are also interested in research that responds to a broad notion of “America,” the Atlantic World, and the African Diaspora. 


250–500 word proposals are due by April 15, 2019. Proposals should be submitted to guest editors Jennifer Van Horn and Catharine Dann Roeber at Please also direct inquiries to


Draft manuscripts of approximately 10,000 words from selected authors will be due late summer 2019. Guest editors will provide comments for authors, and the resulting revised essays will be submitted by guest editors for peer review as a proposed special issue of Winterthur Portfolio. 


For more information please see: