Call for Proposals: Objects of remembrance
Objects have always been and continue to be carriers of personal and communal memories. The proliferation of objects of remembrance starting in the nineteenth century speaks to the widely felt desire for tangible markers of both fleeting personal experiences and significant public events, from coronations to catastrophes; and equally to the possibilities created by new production processes and technologies that emerged in that century and after. What was particular to modern notions and experiences of time that called forth this demand for souvenirs, commemorative medals and ceramics, postcards, photo albums, and a wide variety of other objects of all kinds that could serve as devices of memory? What roles did such objects play in individual lives, in communities, and in larger social and political relationships? What strategies did artists, designers and manufacturers use to produce objects that could serve these functions?
We invite proposals for a collection of essays—to be published as a special issue of the Journal of Decorative and Propaganda Arts (DAPA)—that address objects of remembrance during the modern era. Our aim is to promote an interdisciplinary approach to objects that served as carriers of memory.
Essays may explore such dimensions as design, decoration, manufacture, dissemination, and marketing, as well as the meanings and affective attachments that objects acquire once they have passed into the hands of their owners. Contributions from any field in the humanities—including history, art history, design history, cultural studies, gender studies, anthropology, ethnography, and others—are welcome.
The chronological focus for the special issue is from the mid-nineteenth century through 1945, but contributions that extend these parameters will be considered, as will essays that engage contemporary practices applied to historical artifacts. High quality visual documentation is a key aim of
DAPA: each essay should include between twelve and twenty illustrations.
Essays should be between 4,000 and 6,000 words.
Abstracts of no longer than 500 words should be submitted by May 31 to both of the editors, at the email addresses provided below. Abstracts should identify as specifically as possible the illustrations to be included.
Authors will be responsible for obtaining the rights to publish images, but the journal will offer reimbursements to cover a part of these costs. The editors will notify contributors by June 20 that they have been invited to submit a first draft of their essay, due October 1.
The Journal of Decorative and Propaganda Arts was established in 1986 and is published by The Wolfsonian–Florida International University, a museum and research center in Miami Beach, Florida. The goal of DAPA is to publish new scholarship on the visual and material culture of the second half of the nineteenth century and first half of the twentieth, focusing particular attention on often-overlooked media such as decorative arts and propaganda, alongside fine arts, architecture, and industrial and graphic design. DAPA aims to reach a broad audience, including specialists in art history, architectural history, and cultural studies, as well as non-specialist readers, such as collectors, designers, and design enthusiasts. For that reason, we request that authors contribute essays written in a style that will be accessible to these broader audiences. Information about back issues can be found at
Marta Zarzycka, Guest Editor
Assistant Professor and Postdoctoral Fellow
Graduate Gender Programme
Department of Media and Culture Studies
Jon Mogul, Senior Editor
Assistant Director for Research and Academic Initiatives
The Wolfsonian–Florida International University