The Visual Archives of Sex, Radical History Review Call for Proposals

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Call for Papers
June 1, 2020
Subject Fields: 
Art, Art History & Visual Studies, Film and Film History, Journalism and Media Studies, Sexuality Studies, Women's & Gender History / Studies

The Visual Archives of Sex
Issue number 142 (January 2022)
Abstract Deadline: June 1, 2020
Co-edited by Heike Baur, Melina Pappademos, Katie Sutton, and Jennifer Tucker

Radical History Review seeks contributors for a special issue exploring the critical histories of visual archives of sex. In recent years, increased access to visual archives and the proliferation of digitized images related to sexuality have led a growing number of scholars to place images and visual practices at the center of critical historical inquiries of sexual desire, subjectivity and embodiment. At the same time, new critical histories of sexual science serve both to expand the temporal and geographical frames for investigating the historical relationships of sex and visual production, and to generate new lines of inquiry and reshape visual studies more broadly.

The co-editors of this issue ask: What new questions and challenges for the study of sex and sexual science are posed by critical studies of the visual? How are new visual methodologies focused on archives changing the contours of historical knowledge about sex and sexuality? What – and where – are new methodologies still needed? “The Visual Archives of Sex” aims to illuminate current research that centers visual media in the history of sexuality and that interrogates contemporary historiographies.

Possible topics include:

  • Changing media environments and visual practices of sexology
  • Visual archives of psychology, obstetrics, & medical science
  • Politics of visual illustration in legal and museum exhibits with sexual content.
  • Images in negotiating the boundaries between sexual sciences and subcultures and/or between scientific and self-representations
  • Ethics and questions of sexual morality—defaming, shaming, and isolating through the visual archive
  • Sexual scientific images in colonialist, racist, sexist, homophobic, ableist, and transphobic clinical or research practices
  • Visual media that historically mediate between European and non-European sexual discourses
  • Visual archives of pornography and/or pornography as visual archive

Procedures for submission of articles:

By June 1, 2020, please submit a two-page abstract summarizing the essay or article you wish to contribute as an attachment to with “Issue 142 Abstract Submission” in the subject line. We encourage submissions to our various departments, including: Historians at Work; Teaching Radical History; Public History; Interviews; and (Re)Views. If you wish to contribute an essay on visual materials, please send any images as low-resolution digital files embedded in a Word document along with the text. If chosen for publication, you will later need to send high-resolution (300 dpi) image files and secure permission to reprint all images. Authors will be notified by July 15, 2020, indicating whether they have been invited to submit a full version of their manuscript for peer review. If accepted, the due date for completed manuscripts will be November 1, 2020. Those articles selected for publication after the peer review process will be included in Radical History Review issue 142, scheduled to appear in January 2022.

Abstract Deadline: June 1, 2020


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