Calls for Papers

Call for Papers: Context and Meaning XVII: Complete Imperfection, The Graduate Visual Culture Association of Queen’s University

We are pleased to announce the 17th annual Context & Meaning Graduate Student Conference, taking place at Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario, from Friday, February 2nd to Saturday, February 3rd 2018. We are seeking papers that address this year’s theme, “Complete Imperfection.” The conference will provide an inclusive and broadly defined forum that facilitates academic discussion while encompassing an abundant range of topics. In choosing this intentionally multi-disciplinary theme we would like to encourage discussion about imperfection, impermanence, and ephemerality within Visual Culture Studies.

Some potential themes and ideas to consider may include:

- What does ‘finished’ mean? When is a work finished? When does it fail?

- Collaborative practices, ‘hidden’ voices in scholarly practices 

- Absence/Presence 

- Impermanent, ever-changing, in-flux art

- Art conservation versus restoration

- Imperfect society, failed Utopias

- The unattainability of ideal human beauty

- Nature as an artistic model, ideals of femininity and masculinity

- Technology in art and its limitations 

- Critiquing the canon or hegemonic narratives, alternatives to Euro-American ideals of perfection, debunking the artistic genius


We encourage applications from graduate students working in Art History, Art Conservation, Studio Art, Digital Humanities, Cultural Studies, Museum Studies, Religious Studies, Gender Studies and students from various Humanities fields whose research responds to this year’s theme. This conference is open to both historical and contemporary topics. Submissions are welcome from current graduate students, as well as those who have completed their graduate studies within the last year. We seek to assemble a diverse group of scholars in order to foster interdisciplinary discussions. Presenters will be allotted 20 minutes to deliver their papers, followed by a 10-minute discussion period. A poster session on the conference theme, featuring complete and incomplete research, will also be held during the conference; please see the attached sheet if you would like more information on how to create an academic poster. 


If you are interested in speaking, performing or submitting a poster at Context and Meaning XVII, please email an abstract of no more than 300 words with the title of your paper, along with a separate document that includes a 250-word bio, to Please ensure that your name and the title of your paper are included in your letter of introduction and on your abstract. The deadline to submit an abstract will be: Wednesday, November 8th 2017. Thank you to all who apply! 


Call for Papers: Redefining the curator, curatorial practice, and curated spaces in anthropology

Art, Materiality and Representation conference organised by the RAI and the British Museum’s Department for Africa, Oceania and theAmericas. Clore Centre of the British Museum and Department of Anthropology atSOAS, London, 1-3 June 2018

Panel 064: Redefining the curator, curatorial practice, and curated spaces in anthropology
Convenors: Jaanika Vider (University of Oxford) and Katherine Clough (V&A Museum/Newcastle University)

The panel seeks to problematise, locate and define curators and curated spaces in contemporary culture and ethnographic museums in the light of an expanding notion of curation. Special attention will be paid to means in which it can harness the potential of material objects to perform and affect.

We particularly welcome
- papers from museum professionals involved in curating (broadly defined)/ engaging in innovative interventions that challenge preconceived ideas of what museums are
- papers that explore the possibilities emerging from digital technologies
- papers that consider questions of curation from public engagement viewpoint
- papers that engage with the concept of curatorial space

Panel abstract: Humanity’s capacity for producing an excess of material culture continues at fast pace, while the 'information age' society is also faced with managing unprecedented and accelerating data excess. The overwhelming task of selecting from this abundance has led Michael Bhaskar to suggest that 'we're all curators now' (2016: 3). The term 'curation' has become prolific in wider society, applied to an increasing range of cultural forms from festival line-ups to digital curated content. This poses the question of the meaning and role of the professional museum curator, particularly in ethnographic museums that have historically sought to collect everything from the everyday.

Collaborative curation in ethnographic museums and the conception of these spaces as 'contact zones' have increasingly rendered curators of these museums facilitators in cross-cultural conversation. Similarly, Hans Ulrich Obrist has positioned his own role in the Art World as a catalyst that 'brings different cultural spheres into contact' (2014: 24) emphasising relational values over reliance on individual curatorial expertise and subject specialism. 

We take the expanding notion of curation as a central discussion point to explore how broader conceptualisation of the curator and curated spaces can enhance understanding of our collections. In particular, we are interested in how curation can harness the potency and expectancy of photographs, objects and sound to make them 'talk' (Daston 2007: 221) with special reference to emerging digital technologies. We seek to explore how we may redefine the curator, professional practice and curated spaces to facilitate the making of anthropological knowledge and experiences.

To submit a proposal, please send a title, a short summary of up to 300 characters and an abstract of 250 words via the online form by 8 January 2018 at:
Further conference details can be found at Enquiries are welcome to emails below.
Jaanika Vider (
Katherine Clough (

Call for Papers: Eleventh International Conference on the Inclusive Museum

We are pleased to announce the Call for Papers for the Eleventh International Conference on the Inclusive Museum, held 6–8 September 2018 at the University of Granada in Granada, Spain.

Founded in 2008, the International Conference on the Inclusive Museum brings together a community of museum practitioners, researchers, and thinkers. The key question addressed by the conference: How can the institution of the museum become more inclusive? In this time of fundamental social change, what is the role of the museum, both as a creature of that change, and perhaps also as an agent of change?

We invite proposals for paper presentations, workshops/interactive sessions, posters/exhibits, colloquia, innovation showcases, virtual posters, or virtual lightning talks. The conference features research addressing the annual themes.

For more information regarding the conference click here

Call for Papers: Native American and Indigenous Studies Association


Los Angeles, CA
May 17-19, 2018

The NAISA Council invites scholars working in Native American and Indigenous Studies to submit proposals for:

Individual papers, panel sessions, roundtables, or film screenings.

All persons working in Native American and Indigenous Studies are invited and encouraged to apply. We welcome proposals from faculty and students in colleges, universities, and tribal colleges; from community-based scholars and elders; and from professionals working in the field. We encourage proposals relating to Indigenous community-driven scholarship.

The deadline for proposal submissions is November 1, 2017, 11:50pm EST

The abstract collector site is not yet open, but the link will be shared via email and on our website as soon as it is available.

PLEASE NOTE: The Program Committee limits submissions to one proposed session per person, in order to maximize representation at the meetings. Each person can only be part of one proposal of any kind. The Program Committee reserves the right to disqualify proposals that include individuals who are part of more than one proposal. Someone may however, be proposed to both Chair and present or Chair and comment within one session. Also, someone may organize a panel in which s/he does not have an active role and would be able to present a paper or chair/comment at another time in the program. The Program Committee may recruit panel chairs and commentators from people on successful proposals. No more than two panels can be included in proposals for linked sessions.

Call for Papers: Late-Breaking Session Submissions, AAA 2017

AAA is accepting a limited number of Late-Breaking sessions for the 2017 Annual Meeting that are topical, timely, and especially relevant to current events.

Presentations must offer findings that were not available until after the April 18, 2017 general call for papers submission deadline.
Applicants may submit late-breaking abstracts even if they have had another abstract accepted for presentation, but abstracts submitted prior to the submission deadline may not be resubmitted.
Topical themes are
  • Cultural Heritage Protection
  • Global Health
  • Police Brutality and Race
  • Politics
  • Migration
  • Science under Attack
  • Other
Proposal Category
There are three formats for Late-Breaking Sessions: Oral Presentation, Roundtable, and Individual Gallery (formerly Poster Sessions). If you are submitting as a group of four to seven people, you may choose either the Oral or Roundtable Proposal Category. If you are submitting as an individual, you must choose the Individual Gallery Proposal Category. 

Oral Presentation Sessions should include
  • a session title
  • an abstract for the session as a whole (up to 500 words)
  • one to two organizers, one to two chairs, zero to two discussants, and four to seven paper presenters
  • an abstract from each paper presenter (up to 250 words)
  • identify a point person for the group to initiate the submission process in the portal. This person will select the Proposal Category, enter the Session title, enter the abstract for the Session, and provide names and contact information for the presenters
  • after this has been completed, presenters in the session will be prompted via email to enter the portal and submit their individual abstracts
  • the point person is responsible for submitting the completed Session
  • a submission confirmation will be sent to all Session participants

  Roundtable Sessions should include
  • a session title
  • an abstract for the session as a whole (up to 500 words)
  • one to two organizers, one to two chairs, zero to two discussants, and two to seven Roundtable presenters
  • individual abstracts are NOT required from Roundtable presenters
  • identify a point person for the group to initiate the submission process in the portal. This person will select the Proposal Category, enter the Session title, enter the abstract for the Session, and provide names and contact information for the presenters
  • after this has been completed, presenters in the session will be prompted via email to confirm their participation
  • the point person is responsible for submitting the completed Session
  • a submission confirmation will be sent to all Session participants
Individual Gallery (formerly Poster) Sessions should include
  • a session title (this will also serve as your Gallery title)
  • an abstract for the Gallery (up to 500 words)
  • the individual presenter is responsible for submitting the completed Session
  • a submission confirmation will be sent to the individual presenter
All participants must be AAA members in order to submit a proposal. Registration is NOT required at the time of proposal submission. Upon acceptance of the late-breaking sessions, participants will be notified and will need to register for the meeting no later than 11:59 p.m. EDT on October 19. Failure to register by the deadline will result in forfeiture of participation and removal from the program. Non-member guests may be permitted to present under compelling circumstances.

The late-breaking abstract submission will be open August 14 and will close at 11:59 p.m. EDT on September 17. Acceptance notifications will go out the week of October 2. Participants will then have a little more than two weeks to register for the meeting, otherwise they forfeit their participation in the Late-Breaking Session.

Log in to the Submission site with your AAA AnthroGateway credentials.

Call for Papers: Collections, Collectors and Practices of Representation Special Issue, The Brazilian Journal Sociedade e Cultura

Deadline for submissions: 5 November 2017

The Brazilian Journal Sociedade e Cultura invites potential articles for the special issue: Collections, Collectors and Practices of Representation

Editors: Manuel Ferreira Lima Filho (Universidade Federal de Goiás) e Edmundo Pereira (Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro/Museu Nacional).

The journal SOCIEDADE E CULTURA publishes the call for articles for the thematic dossier "Collections, Collectors and Practices of Representation", organized by Manuel Ferreira Lima Filho (Federal University of Goiás) and Edmundo Pereira (Federal University of Rio de Janeiro / National Museum). The publication is scheduled for v.21, n.1, 2018). Articles written in Portuguese, English or Spanish will be accepted in accordance with the journal's rules (available, and regarding the topic proposed by the editors, as follows:
The organization of the “Collection, Collectors and Practices of Representation” dossier has as a conceptual subsidy the fact that the generation and administration of 'collections' have been organized in practices linked to multiple projects: disciplinary, development and autonomization of scientific and artistic fields; of power and governability, of invention and audio-visual administration of the nation and the empire. In this context, a set of ethnographic and analytical concerns have been defined, in particular, in the acts of collecting, in the debate about the formation of archives (Museums, Libraries, Herbariums, Zoological and Botanical Gardens); the distinctive organization of the Sciences and the Arts; and, recently, the generation of counter-representations by groups historically represented in regimes of subalternization (indexed in referents as 'primitive', 'traditional', 'folkloric'). These investments, focused on complex symbolic economies, highlight the relationship between researchers and interlocutors in the objectification of 'cultural' and 'natural' diversity (from catalogs of herbal plants and herbs, to collections of objects, and collections of poems, songs and melodies) with the aid of multiple audiovisual technologies for mediation of observation and experience.

In this way, the dossier will focus on articles that give ethnographic attention to collecting processes related to: the critical reflection-synthesis of epistemes from different historical periods and the role of social and natural sciences in national and imperial scenarios; the resumption of 'objects' and 'materialities' in the thematic scenarios of science and the arts; revisions of museum processes related to the organization of collections, technical reserves and modes of exhibition.

Papers may be submitted in Portuguese, English or Spanish. Please use the reference guide (…) when preparing your manuscript.

The contributions should be sent directly to the organizers:
Submission deadline: November 5, 2017

Call for Papers: ‘Museum universalities in Western cultural capitals in the nineteenth and early twentieth century’

Université de Paris-Nanterre, Friday 17th November 2017
Around 1900, each Western capital offered its visitors, a particular representation of human universality through its collections of arts, archaeology, applied arts and design, natural sciences, sciences and ethnography. Different circumstances had contributed to the expansion of these collections (e.g. colonialism, art markets, donations), so that the acquisition of new objects often anticipated reflection on their epistemological raison d’être within a given institution. In addition, other factors influencing the development of Western museums included: intellectually, the move from Enlightenment’s encyclopaedism to subject specialisms; economically, the industrial revolution and new commercial interests; politically, the emergence of new nation-states and empires; socially, the growth of the bourgeoisie and new entertainment spaces. Hence, all these developments, in parallel to the growth of the collections, prompted discussion on museum taxonomies, and on the display of objects.

At the same time, historians were dealing with similar methodological questions in their own attempts to write universal histories. However, the reciprocal impact of historiographical and museological reflections on ideas of universalities has rarely been explored.

The workshop will bring together researchers from both museum studies and history to stimulate discussion across disciplines and national contexts. We invite proposals for papers relating to:
-Definition of ‘universalities’ in museums – particularly in relation to contemporary developments in historiography, in the philosophy of history, and in the history of disciplines.

-Case-studies from ‘universal museums’ in Europe and North-America –we are particularly interested in discussions regarding museums in London, Paris, St. Petersburg, Berlin, Rome, Philadelphia, New York, Washington DC.
-International exhibitions – in particular their relations with museums and the development of collections.

Important information:
Papers – abstract: 300 words (20 minutes papers)

Deadline for abstract submission:
13th September 2017. Please send abstracts to: Authors will be notified by the 30th September 2017.

Please note: we aim to publish a selection of the papers from the workshops of the ‘Universal Histories, Universal Museums’ research project as a journal special issue.

Call for Papers: Remarkable Things: The Agency of Objecthood and the Power of Materiality, March 2018

Apotropaic art, symbols or objects are those which have – or are reputed to have - the power of averting evil influence or ‘bad luck’.

The very idea of an apotropaic object stands at the centre of theory seeking to concretise objecthood and materiary power. Apotropaic things are, in their very nature, possessed of an agency that both transcends their status as a material object yet is also inextricably tied to it: their physicality enables them to be purposefully placed in liminal spaces or carried close on the body; the materials they are made from carefully chosen and frequently bizarre or rare; their form, shape and construction often highly specific and closely allied to tradition and ‘folklore’.

Therefore, the repellence of forces which are abstract and amorphous relies intrinsically upon the materiality and apparent ‘concreteness’ of specific objects. In turn, the ways in which society, throughout time and across culture, has attempted to reconcile the seemingly dialectical nature of such items stands at an interdisciplinary confluence.
Material of this kind is not confined to any one culture, time or place, thus necessitating interdisciplinary exploration as to the variety of theoretical and methodological frameworks that might assist in unpacking and articulating the status and significance of such objects and - perhaps more importantly - how we have come to classify them. Therefore, this conference is concerned with objects which have, or are perceived to have, inherent 'power' or 'mobility'. It will explore:
The sorts of objects that have been perceived in this way and how objecthood is tied to their interpretation and significance;
The way such objects operate/are believed to operate;
How these sorts of objects construct and convey their power/meaning;
The role these objects have played in different disciplines, both focally and epistemologically;
The ways in which such objects have shaped culture, custom, behaviour, thought and academic discourse;
The ways in which different disciplines have dealt with such objects and their ramifications;
Whether or not we continue to create ‘talismans’, 'fetishes', and ‘relics’, etc., or attribute these concepts to objects extraneously;
Finally, how seminal principles outlined by figures such as Gell, Mitchell and Pietz, who have authoritatively theorised on objecthood and agency, play out practically and contextually. [1]

Such objects might include religious icons, jewellery, biological specimens, clothing, funerary equipment, materia medica, portraiture or relics, and their perceived ‘power’ might be grounded in faith, ritual, superstition, biopolitics, cultural memory, memorialisation, consumerism or even medical adherence.

In our modern era, the nature of ‘objecthood’ is undergoing great change; ‘virtual reality’ and the rise of virtual museums, online collections, 3D printing, and sensory simulation ensure that objecthood, and our [un]changing relationship with it, is as relevant as ever. Amidst the evolving status of objecthood, do we continue to create apotropaia? If so, where might we identify them? How might we extend this concept to scientific, medical or technological 'objects', if at all?

This conference will investigate how recent developments in the study of material religion, neuroarchaeology, semiotics and phenomenology might help us better understand not only such objects themselves, but also their many guises and surprising pervasiveness, as well as our ongoing attempts to typologise and demystify them.

Following the conference, we intend to submit proposal to Warwick Series in the Humanities (in partnership with Routledge) for a collected volume.

We therefore invite abstracts of up to 300 words for 20-minute papers on topics including, but not limited to:
The breadth and fluidity of the apotropaic as a category of material, and the sorts of material - both ancient and modern - that has been responded to as apotropaia;
The proximity of ‘apotropaic’ (or similar) objects and their conceptualisation to our early understandings of medicine and disease;
The significance and power of naming such objects – ‘apotropaic’, ‘relic’, ‘icon’, ‘totem’, ‘talisman’, ‘fetish’, etc.;
Our need, both socio-culturally and intellectually, to typologise, classify and deconstruct such material;
The role of collectors and collections in our relationship with these objects;
The potential for developments in Neuroarchaeology, Phenomenology, Semiotics and Material Religion to further our understanding of these objects, their function, creation and perception as well as our ongoing intellectual fascination with them;
Whether we can separate the conceptual toolkit and terminology typically used to discuss and categorise these objects from their often-problematic origins in colonialism, racism, and modes of exoticisation or othering;
The role of medicine, science, technology and the rapidly changing nature of ‘objecthood’ in the modern creation, perception and definition of such objects;
The sorts of present-day ‘objects’ which have 'power' over us, or the sorts of objects we invest with similar/‘equivalent’ ‘power’ today.

We also welcome proposals for workshops of between 40-60 mins on particular genres or case studies of material, museum collections or related projects.
To propose a workshop, please submit abstracts of no more than 500 words detailing the theme, structure, duration, perceived outcomes including activities/item handling and any specific resources required.

Keynote Speakers:
Professor Patricia Spyer (The Graduate Institute, Geneva)
Dr Lambros Malafouris (Oxford University)

Send all abstracts to along with your name (if more than one for workshops, please give name of all contributors), title/position, and institutional affiliation.

Deadline for submissions: 1st December 2017

Call for Papers: SfAA 2018

The Society for Applied Anthropology (SfAA) invites abstracts (sessions, papers and posters) for the Program of the 78th Annual Meeting in Philadelphia, PA, April 3-7, 2018. The theme of the Program is “Sustainable Futures.”

The Society is a multi-disciplinary association that focuses on problem definition and resolution. We welcome papers from all disciplines. The deadline for abstract submission is October 15, 2017.

The SfAA proudly announces its second annual film festival! This competitive two-day film festival will take place at the 2018 meeting, and welcomes all kinds of visual anthropology films: documentary, fiction, non-fiction, experimental, and other genres, as long as the films are either ethnographically or anthropologically intended. As the 2018 meeting theme is Sustainable Futures, we welcome films that address this main topic, broadly conceived, as well as films on issues related to the city of Philadelphia or the Mid-Atlantic region. The submitters of selected films must register for the SfAA meetings by October 15, 2017, by submitting an abstract of the film. See here for more information on jurying, acceptance announcements, evaluation processes, and submission requirements.

Call for Papers: Black Portraiture[s] IV

BLACK PORTRAITURE[S] IV: The Color of Silence is the eighth conference in a series of conversations about imaging the black body. We invite artists, activists, and scholars to reflect on the visual expressions of national imaginaries and political ideologies that negate racial differences and render black subjects invisible. Such ideologies are prevalent in Latin America and the Caribbean, where metaphors of mixture (mestizaje or mestiçagem) and racial harmony ignore inequality and discrimination. Similar formulations are to be found elsewhere, however, as in republican France, or among proponents of a post-racial United States, or in references to a South African “rainbow nation”, or in Jamaica’s well-known “out of many, one people” motto. Presenters will engage a range of historical and contemporary topics such as biennales, exhibitions, movements, individual artists and collectives, art markets, politics, tourism, sites of memory, Afrofuturism, fashion, dance, music, film, art, and photography. We invite papers and panel proposals on relevant topics.

The conference will be held Thursday through Saturday, March 15-17, 2018, in Havana, Cuba.
As the status of the US/Cuba relations are in flux, more information about travel will be available when the new Administration's policies are enacted. New policies and information will be posted here, as soon as it is available.

Havana, Cuba. March 15-17, 2018.


Please contact with questions.

Black Portraiture[s] IV is a collaboration with the U.S. Ambassador to Cuba, Jeffrey DeLaurentis; Hutchins Center for African & African American Research, Harvard University; New York University’s LaPietra Dialogues, Tisch School of the Arts, and the Institute of African American Affairs.

Call for Papers: Comparative Museologies: The Example of the Asian Arts

Musée de l’Homme, 28th September 2017

In the 19th century, major collections of Asian arts reached European museums. These collections provide useful comparisons of the reception of these cultures in different Western museums. While it is possible to recognise some key moments in the movement of objects from the East to the West (e.g. the discovery of Buddhist antiquities in the mid-century, or the expansion and establishment of colonialisms), the incorporation of these works into existing museum collections, or their interpretation according to scholarly knowledge at the time, differed depending on the range of objects available and the various national scholarly traditions.

One of the case studies of the Universal Histories and Universal Museums project draws on the South Asian collections of the Victoria and Albert Museum, including those that were brought to Europe so to be displayed in temporary exhibitions. The research centres on the purposes of museums in acquiring these objects, their use in displays and in public events, and debate around their position in the collections.

This workshop aims to explore the acquisition, inventory, and display of Asian objects in Western museums. The workshop will bring together researchers from ethnography, archaeology, and museum history, to explore the acquisition, display, and reception of Asian Arts in Europe. The workshop will also reflect on object agencies through a session with the objects studied in the Universal Histories and Universal Museums project. We invite papers and posters exploring the agencies that contributed to the collection and display of Asian arts. 

Contributions might consider, but need not be confined to, the following themes:
Collecting and displaying Asian arts in Western museums in the 19th century and the early 20th century
Histories of museums of Asian arts and their collections (e.g. Musée National des Arts Asiatiques – Guimet)
Museum collections and the development of ethnography
The impact of temporary exhibitions and universal exhibitions on the creation and development of museum collections, including other object journeys into museums via learned and other societies, private collections etc

Important information:

Papers – abstract: 300 words (20 minutes papers)
Deadline for both papers and posters abstract submission: 1st August.
Send abstracts to:
Authors will be notified by the 10th August.

Note that we will aim to publish the workshops of the ‘Universal Histories, Universal Museums’ research project as a journal special issue.