FAMILY LINE-UPS. Trans-generational Encounters in Family Photography

Mihaela Precup's picture
Call for Papers
November 1, 2017
Subject Fields: 
Women's & Gender History / Studies, Holocaust, Genocide, and Memory Studies, Art, Art History & Visual Studies, Immigration & Migration History / Studies, Oral History

This is a call for contributions for an exhibition and a book. The exhibition is so far virtual (hosted on All accepted contributions will initially be published on our website and will take book form when we have secured a sufficient number of submissions.

The title of the project is FAMILY LINE-UPS. It examines the role of family photography in the process of the inter-generational transmission of memory, with a focus on the manner in which exile, death, and/or violence can act on the structure of the family, the coherence of its genealogy, as well as people's understanding of their own identities.

Your contribution to this project can address one or several of the following questions: How do we relate to a family history that we inherit through family photography and storytelling, but that we were for the most part unable to witness? How does family photography work to connect us to a family history? How do we negotiate the scarce narrative force of photography against the social imperative that we possess a coherent story about our past, our ancestors etc.? How do we reconcile the fact that the conventions of family photography predicate that the family be a coherent, happy unit, but sometimes family narratives contradict this version?

Your submission should consist of the following:

1. three scanned photographs from your own family album (please make sure you set the scanner to 600dpi), as follows: one photograph of yourself; one photograph of a family member who is absent or otherwise unavailable to you, but to whom you feel related through family resemblance; one photograph of another family member who may or may  not also be absent or unavailable to you.

2. a scanned handwritten (but legible) note in English (of no  more than 400 words), preferably written on one side of an A4 sheet of paper, in which you attempt to address one or some of the questions we ask in this project, with reference to the three photographs you have chosen

3. a short bio (100 words).

To get a better idea of what submissions have collected so far, please see our Submissions page:

Please send all your submissions and queries by November 1st to and/or

Contact Info: 

Mihaela Precup

Associate Professor, American Studies Program, University of Bucharest