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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Submission Guidelines & Current Call for Papers

CALL FOR PAPERS: Volume 2, "the Spirit in the Shadow"

Submissions due by Sunday, July 11, 2021

We are pleased to announce that react/review: a responsive journal for art & architecture is now accepting submissions for spotlight works, feature articles, and book or exhibition reviews that respond to the theme “The Spirit in the Shadow,” to be published in its second volume in January 2022. We seek submissions related but not limited to the spiritual, monstrous, cosmological, or otherworldly with in or as forms of political action or resistance in the fields of art history, architectural history, and visual culture across all historical periods and media.

The broad field of the political is often analyzed in terms of strategy, ideology, and its concrete historical and material circumstances and trajectories. Within the field of art and architectural history, discourse on the political may focus on the aesthetics and materiality of the visual forms accompanying or embodying it, ranging from the style and form of state-sponsored architecture and its role in ideological dissemination to the symbolic material culture of protest movements which mobilize against dominant political structures. Examples include the Prussian National Monument for the Liberation Wars, which celebrates the resistance of Prussian soldiers and citizens against the French; the patriotic implications of Maya Lin’s Vietnam Veterans Memorial in its relation to U.S. national buildings; paintings or posters by Palestinian artists like Ismail Shammout which lament and interrogate the conditions of Palestinian exile; or the headscarves worn and photographs carried by the Madres of the disappeared in Argentina and beyond.

Such examples of visual and material culture also commonly include less tangible dimensions, including themes of the spiritual, otherworldly, monstrous, or hauntings. For example, Schinkel’s original proposal for the Prussian monument was a neo-Gothic church, a proposal surviving only in the monument’s central spire; the omission of overt symbolism from the Vietnam Veterans Memorial lends it a shrine- like quality; Shammout’s work registers the haunting nature of dispossession and exile while advocating for global solidarity with the Palestinian crisis; and, as Diana Taylor writes, mothers protesting disappearances in Mexico drew on Catholic tradition to present the photographs of their children as relics in elaborate handmade frames. Whether part of the generative principle of a work’s production, the effect of a set of aesthetic practices, or the unconscious impact of an artist’s ideology on their work, visual and material culture may be marked by spiritual themes “in the shadow” of the political. Such themes are significant in that they may not always be accounted for under a traditional rubric of art historical concerns, or may be treated in isolation without reference to the political dimensions with which they are linked. We seek to rectify this omission by reconsidering the ways in which the political is imbricated with the affective, the generative, and the ethereal, temporal dimensions of the spirit.

We welcome all submissions, but will prioritize those by graduate students from any discipline at any stage of their MA or Ph.D. program, as well as postdoctoral fellows, and early career contingent scholars.

We invite contributions for spotlight works, feature articles, and exhibition or book reviews responding to the theme. Please submit a manuscript, cover sheet, and 150-word bio to the journal’s page on eScholarship using the submit function, located at:

Questions should be directed to managing editors Megan Sheard and Rachel Winter at

Article categories available to open submission:

Spotlight articles (1,250-1500 words): Spotlight articles are open-ended pieces that discuss new research findings, speculate on pressing research questions, or address methodological issues encountered in fieldwork or archival work. They differ from the more formal feature writing in that spotlight pieces are more exploratory and flexible in nature. Spotlight articles provide space for researchers to share works-in-progress, make connections between research and current events, or reflect on methodologies or the experience of conducting research or fieldwork.

Feature articles (3,000-4,000 words):Features are research essays focusing on the theme of the call for papers. Feature articles are accompanied by brief responses from members of the editorial staff in order to deepen the conversation and make connections across research specialties.

Book/exhibition reviews (750 words): Reviews on recent exhibitions or publications should touch on the theme of the current issue.