E; Bourdillat, Album comique : caricatures théâtrales et animalières, XVIIIe siècle, gouache, 33 x 24,5 cm, Paris, Bibliothèque nationale de France.
Type : Appel à publication
Date limite : 1er octobre 2017
The Culture of Albums in the Long 18th Century
Selecting, collecting, classifying, curating, displaying, narrating, disseminating, transporting, entertaining, educating, subverting: what other single object does all of that at once? Ordering knowledge through the rationale of a sequenced and empirical display of data (visual, textual, material), the album became an archetypical site of the eighteenth century’s way of thinking about and representing the world. Neither a treatise implementing a master-hypothesis nor a random gathering of material, albums can be described as both hybrid and structured objects. They have the physical structure of a book and the appearance of a narrative but are also pure displays, a rhetorical organization of iconic discourses and a virtual folding or unfolding of a larger idea having a specific program. They simultaneously contain pictorial imagery (paintings, cut-ups, and, later in the nineteenth century, photographs) and are themselves artistic creations. They provide microcosmic and portable representations of a polity, a culture or an individual. Unexpected mixtures of media and topics also form the repertoire of many albums. They invite us to think through regimes of readability, visibility and seriality. Often studied for their contents rather than as creations in their own right, albums raise many important questions regarding their status as archival or museum objects. Their contrived nature makes them ideal objects to be studied in terms of social practice, identity politics and interconnectedness. They invoke relationships, compositions and collectivity. The album offers a very fertile ground for probing the material and intellectual productivity of cultures.
What does album-making tell us about cultural and individual identities? And how do these identities utilize and make sense of this specific practice? How do albums work iconographically and textually? What is their historical significance and how can we interpret them?
For Issue 6 of Journal18, we invite papers that explore these and related questions to appraise this hitherto neglected object of our discipline. In particular we call for an investigation of parallel developments of albums around the globe across the long 18th Century (1650-1850), as well as the theoretical debates informing notions of serialization and authenticity. Drawing upon neighboring fields of anthropology, literary criticism, philosophy and museum studies, we
invite scholars to think about these objects as ubiquitous and intimately interconnected artefacts, and to investigate them within cultures of imperialism, colonialism, identity politics and theoretical approaches of artistic hybridity and difference.
Issue Editor Nebahat Avcioglu, Hunter College/CUNY
Proposals for issue #6 Albums are now being accepted. Deadline for proposals: October 1, 2017.
To submit a proposal, send an abstract (200 words) and a brief CV to firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com. Articles should not exceed 6000 words (including footnotes) and will be due on April 1, 2018. For further details on the submission process see Information for