CFP: Trans Asia Photography: CALL FOR PAPERS - Vol. 14, No. 1 (Spring 2024)

Jennifer Orpana Discussion


We are pleased to circulate a CFP for our Spring 2024 issue on photobooks. We hope you will share this with your networks. 


CALL FOR PAPERS - Vol. 14, No. 1 (Spring 2024)

Photobooks are both a public space and a personal space. In recent years, photobooks have emerged as one of the dominant formats for the presentation and circulation of the photographic image. Distinguished by prioritizing the photographic image as the central element, the photobook can range from a state or commercial venture to a self-published limited-edition project with a grassroots distribution network. The recent re-emergence of photobook production is a result of many factors including—access to advanced printing technology; a desire to keep control of the product and its distribution with the artist; a need for space to explore personal narratives, politically and culturally sensitive issues, expressions of dissent; and the new-found prestige of the photobook format. 

This special issue of Trans Asia Photography encourages scholarly analysis of the photobook. It is meant to help move the field towards a critical examination of how the photobook works and its intersection with social, cultural, political, aesthetic, and photographic histories. This issue embraces an open-ended definition of the photobook to underscore the multiple transnational genealogies and varied contexts of photobook production and reception in different regions of Asia. If previous studies on the photobook have attempted to write an alternative history of photography, this special issue asks how a photo history would look when it is written through photobooks from Asia and its diaspora. 

Rather than reviews of recently-published photobooks, this special issue invites in-depth and interdisciplinary examination of case studies or multiple photobooks through a critical theme, issue or question, identifying larger patterns or interruptions. Innovative methodologies and historiographic inquiries are welcome. 

Some topics may include: 

  • issues of gender and empowerment
  • the different epistemological and ontological registers of the photobook
  • the intersection of genres and print mediums to convey meaning
  • why in an increasingly digital world the tactile quality of the photobook remains central
  • how photobooks form a counter narrative to images of Asia in the western press
  • photobooks as a space to explore different aesthetic languages from realism to abstraction
  • the intersection of photobooks with liberation struggles and freedom movements through the 20th century
  • how photobooks have shaped or intervened in photo history


The examination of any book-length visual work is challenging to get across with select still images in a text-based article without the reader being able to see the full work for themselves. Thus, due to the freedom allowed by TAP’s online format, we are happy to say that in this issue articles can be, and are encouraged to be, accompanied by a video that pages through the full publication (pending author/artist permission). In this way, this special issue will be an examination of photobook culture and be part of it.   


We welcome:

Articles (5,000–7,000 words) that broaden understanding of photography based on original research 

Shorter pieces (1,000–2,000 words)—formats include interviews, curatorial or visual essays, and portfolios 

Deadline for research articles and shorter pieces: January 31, 2023. 


Articles will undergo a double-blind peer review process.  Accepted articles will be published in TAP’s May 2024 issue. 

Trans Asia Photography is an international, refereed, open-access journal based at the University of Toronto and published by Duke University Press. It provides a venue for interdisciplinary exploration of photography and Asia. 

Guidance for authors on submissions can be found at: 

Please direct all inquiries to:



The TAP Editorial Team

Deepali Dewan, Royal Ontario Museum & University of Toronto

Yi Gu. University of Toronto

Thy Phu, University of Toronto