Call for Articles | Thresholds 51: Heat

Posted in Calls for Papers, journal articles by Editor on May 4, 2022

From Thresholds:

Thresholds 51: Heat
Edited by Hampton Smith and Zachariah DeGiulio

Submissions are due by 1 June 2022

Thresholds is the annual peer-reviewed journal produced by the MIT Department of Architecture, held in over 150 university art & architecture libraries around the world. Content features leading scholars and practitioners from the fields of architecture, art, and culture.

Heat is elusive: always on the move, always fugitive. Though we have many signs of its presence—sweating, ‘hot’ and ‘cool’ media, sitting under the shade, catching fire—heat itself largely evades conventional forms of representation. As the transference of energy from one system to another, heat radiates and penetrates. Immanent and intense, heat binds and nourishes as much as it reshapes or destroys. While helping us navigate the material world as tool, medium, and affect, heat forces us to come to terms with the fragility of the systems in which we take part. And though temperature is regularly mapped across graphs and thermometers, the feeling of heat is often so localized and so personal that it evades historic perception altogether. Even if we know things are hotter now than they were yesterday, where is heat within art and architecture practice?

Thresholds 51: Heat takes enthalpy—the thermodynamic property that comprises heat, pressure, and volume to effect chemical state change—as its guiding principle. We seek scholarly writing, artistic interventions, and criticism from art, architecture, and related fields to apply pressure within the volume to effect disciplinary state change. We aim to discover the ways art and architecture have historically navigated, wielded, and avoided heat.

Courtyard buildings across the Islamic world produce thermal delight; Mande blacksmiths carefully wield heat to make iron tools for repairing and nourishing communities; museum conservators curate temperature-controlled environments for artworks; Yurok practices of fire stewardship regulate natural rhythms of growth and decay. And though thermodynamic flux underlies such practices of making and maintenance, heat just as frequently effaces or prevents knowledge production—think of the conflagration of the University of Cape Town’s special collections or mold consuming boxes of archival material.

Recognizing that heat has never been evenly felt, from the violently racialized fictions of the ‘torrid zone’ to the lack of adequate shade in urban communities, we are particularly invested in alternative architectural or aesthetic mobilizations of heat—in the contestation of thermal violence, in the activation of ritual, or in the warmth of community, desire, and lust. A critical account of heat within art and architecture must attend to its use as a medium and structure of violence, while nevertheless exploring how ‘feeling the heat’ productively links scales of being, practices, and types of labor.

Please send all submissions to the editors via email at thresh@mit.edu with the subject heading THAT’S HOT. Essay submissions should be in English, approximately 3000 words, and formatted in accordance with the Chicago Manual of Style. Submission should include a brief cover letter, contact information, and bio of 50–75 words for each author. Text should be submitted in MS Word. Images should be submitted at 72 dpi as uncompressed TIFF files. Other creative proposals, including, but certainly not limited to, performances, poetry, and film are not limited in size or medium. All scholarly submissions are subject to peer review.

Call for Papers | Shipwrecks in Art, History, and Archaeology

Posted in Calls for Papers by Editor on May 4, 2022

From ArtHist.net:

Resurfacing: Shipwrecks in Art, History, and Archaeology
The Warburg Institute, The Royal Museums Greenwich, London, 11–12 November 2022

Proposals due by 27 May 2022

Organized by Caspar Pearson, Johannes von Müller, Andrew Choong Han Lin, and Imogen Tedbury

Every sea voyage entails the possibility of disaster. This makes the motif of the shipwreck a highly significant symbol, to which its popularity as an artistic subject in the early modern period attests. Today, the potential symbolism of a shipwreck and its contents remains key to marine archaeology. Since Plato, the ship can act as a metaphor for a state and consequently a state can also invest itself into its ships—and its shipwrecks. Examples like the Mary Rose (1545) or the Titanic (1912) demonstrate how these structures can, in the public imagination, become era-defining symbols of certain technological or social achievements. Archaeology can reveal wondrous relics of a wreck’s active life, a snapshot of the past frozen in the moment of the vessel’s abrupt end.

The shipwreck, already a versatile metaphor, can therefore also serve as a figure for history itself. In his architectural treatise, Alberti, who dabbled in nautical archaeology when he attempted to raise an ancient ship from the bed Lake Nemi, discusses Vitruvius as one of the few survivors of a shipwrecked antiquity. In turn, Winckelmann likens the ruins of classical artworks to the fragments of a ship that can never be seen in its entirety. In these two key moments in the history of art history, the figure of the ship signifies the suspension of time, and the shipwreck, in consequence, marks the end of an era. Perhaps it is for this reason that Jacob Burckhardt would eventually conceive of the scholar drifting upon vast seas of past and present turmoil.

As the horizons of art history have expanded beyond their former Eurocentric focus, increasing interest in processes of exchange, trade and migration have also led to the discovery of sunken treasures that are now claimed as objects of study. In this context, the shipwreck may eventually reveal itself as a guiding principle for art history written on the fragmented grounds of surviving data. This conviction, however, demands to take into account the systemic suppression of marginalised histories, gradually resurfacing and challenging scholars to review their standpoint.

Considerations like these spark a variety of questions. What meaning does the figure of the shipwreck hold for art history, archaeology and related disciplines? Are the vessels lost at sea merely shattered cabinets of forgotten wonders that are now resurfacing? Or does the interest in them which art historians and archaeologists share with maritime historians, literary scholars and artists hold the potential to recalibrate an understanding of the knowledge produced in confrontation with material objects of both past and diverse aesthetics? And how do questions such as these resonate in a moment in which the dangers of the voyage by sea are very real and not metaphorical at all for hundreds of thousands who desperately try to cross the bodies of water separating the Global South from the Global North?

This two-day conference, held on 11 and 12 November 2022 in London at the Warburg Institute and the Royal Museums Greenwich, invites scholars from a variety of fields—art history, archaeology, history of ideas, literary studies, and others—in order to discuss the following topics and more:
a) material and epistemic cultures of shipwrecks
b) the shipwreck as a subject in the arts of the past and the present alike
c) the shipwreck as a metaphor as which it runs through histories of both literature and scholarship
d) the shipwreck as a potential paradigm for an expansion of subject areas in art history, archaeology and related fields.

Please send a proposal of 300 words max. together with a short CV to caspar.pearson@warburg.sas.ac.uk by 27 May 2022.

Dr Caspar Pearson (The Warburg Institute), Dr Johannes von Müller (Christian-Albrechts-Universität Kiel), Andrew Choong Han Lin, and Dr Imogen Tedbury (The Royal Museums Greenwich)

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