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Refract: An Open Access Visual Studies Journal

Refract: An Open Access Visual Studies Journal

“Refraction”:  Call for Papers

In the field of optics, “refraction” occurs when light waves transmit from one medium to another at an oblique angle. This shift evokes a change in ways of seeing and knowing the world around us. To refract knowledge, therefore, is to complicate dominant categorizations, center/periphery binaries, and hegemonic discourses. To refract our study of visual and material culture is to look at cultural productions, creative works, and texts that are often taken for granted as cohesive, singular, and immutable, and instead reread them as multifarious and dynamic.

This issue breaks from the confines of academic disciplines and asks how we can disrupt the act of knowledge production. What is the outcome of reading marginalized ideas through the lens of established canons? Or, conversely, what is at stake when we read established canons through the lens of marginalized epistemologies and frameworks? What are alternative modalities of observing, conceptualizing, and framing cultural productions? How can we create a system that reroutes our sense of culture, identity, and place in the world?

Refract’s inaugural issue invites new approaches to visual, sensorial, and material cultures from diverse histories and geographies. Contributions from graduate students, artists, faculty, and independent scholars across the humanities, including visual studies, art history, anthropology, history, and history of science are welcome. In addition to scholarly articles, we encourage alternative media submissions that address the theme of refraction. See below for submission guidelines.

Topics may include, but are not limited to:

  • Productive and destructive readings of information and ideas understood as “fact”
  • Hegemonic structures, genders, and sexualities that are interrupted and rearticulated
  • Linguistic translation, reinterpretation, repurposing, and remaking
  • Speculative futures as visualized by artists and theoreticians
  • Visual cultures of activism, re-definitions of sovereignty, governance, and nationality
  • Nature/culture or human/other-than-human divides regarding landscape and environment
  • Disruptive flows of information, knowledge, trade, migration, and globalization
  • Technological and/or scientific illustration, visualization, and conceptualization
  • Virtual reality and augmented reality applications and interventions

Submission Guidelines

Please send full-length submissions to refractjournal@ucsc.edu by Friday, February 16, 2018 with subject heading “Refract Journal Submission.”

  • Papers should range from 6,000-10,000 words in length.
  • Written submissions should follow Chicago Manual of Style 16th Edition guidelines for Humanities.
  • Submissions will be evaluated on relevance to themes, depth of research, completeness of work, and in accordance with Refract’s engagement with Visual Studies.
  • We reserve the right to edit submissions selected for publication. Late or incomplete submissions will not be considered.

Reviews

Refract seeks reviews that grapple with the topics and questions raised above.

  • Reviews on books, exhibitions, and films should not exceed 1,000 words in length.
  • Written submissions should follow Chicago Manual of Style 16th Edition guidelines for Humanities.

Alternative Media

Refract encourages submissions in alternative media that address the themes described above.

  • Alternative media includes but is not limited to painting, photography, drawing, film, collaborative reviews, and digital projects.
  • Submissions should be accompanied by an artist statement no longer than 2 pages.
  • We encourage contributors to contact Refract before the submission deadline for customized instructions.

Inquiries should be sent to refractjournal@ucsc.edu