CFP: Octopus, Journal of Visual Studies (4/3/06; journal issue)

full name / name of organization: 
Ginger Hill
contact email: 

Call for Papers: The Dark

Octopus (Volume 2) Fall 2006

Deadline for Submissions: April 3, 2006.


To follow in the success of our inaugural issue on "Synaesthesia" the Visual
Studies Graduate Student Association and the editors of Octopus are proud to
announce the topic of our second issue - "The Dark."


Concepts of "light" and "dark" have currency as a metaphorical referent-to
illuminate, cast a shadow on, to set in contrast to, as markers of knowledge
or obfuscation. Exemplified by one of the dominant philosophical regimes in
the Western tradition-emerging from the "Dark Ages" and into the
"Enlightenment"- this metaphor assumes a position as a structuring matrix, a
system of oppositions or relativities used to work through historical
moments and objects of study. Because cultural conventions often set light
(active/positive/presence) and dark (passive/negative/absence) against each
other, the incorporation of these ubiquitous concepts manifests itself in a
broad range of cultural concerns including aesthetics, politics, ethics,
gender, race and ethnicity, technology, religion, and the media, and has
itself a legacy of warranted critical attention.


The idea of "the dark" occupies a particularly critical position within the
emerging field of Visual Studies. For this issue we present the question of
"the dark" as an analytical tool, a historical concept, and as a limit or
end of visual studies itself. The second issue of Octopus invites
manuscripts that engage with "the dark" from a wide-range of perspectives.
Possible lines of inquiry include but are not limited to:


1) Photography's light and dark: polychromy, monochromy, being
photogenic, the space of the darkroom

2) Cinema's light and dark: flicker, the space of spectatorship, Noir,

3) Darkness and light as absence and presence; invisibility,
avisuality, disappearance, negation, blind spots

4) Gender, race, and ethnicity

5) "Intelligence" and its connection to metaphors of "illumination"

6) The politics of "dimness"

7) Philosophy, theosophy, hermeneutics

8) Literature, linguistics

9) Architecture, shadow

10) Material lightness and darkness; technologies of light

11) Military stealth/night vision

12) Self-awareness, epiphanies, criticism

13) Minimalism, Post-Minimalism.

14) Plato's cave/ shadowplay/ camera obscura/ chiaroscuro

15) Rhetorics of good and evil

16) Aesthetics and spirituality


Deadline for Submissions: April 3, 2006.


Submission Guidelines:

All submissions must include the title of the contribution, the name(s) of
the authors, and the postal address, e-mail address, and phone numbers for
the author who will serve as the primary contact with the editors on


Electronic submissions should be sent as Microsoft Word .doc or Rich Text
Format attachments to Please put the word
"submission" somewhere in the subject line.


Manuscripts to be considered for publication should be accompanied by an
abstract of no more than 150 words, six keywords, and a short biographic
entry about the author(s). Please provide a brief history of the
manuscript; whether it is part of a dissertation or thesis, book-length
project, conference presentation, etc. Because Octopus follows a policy of
blind peer-review, no material identifying the author(s) should appear
anywhere other than on the detachable title page. Manuscripts should conform
to CHICAGO formatting standards.


For book reviews and criticism [~750 words] please include title of book(s),
retail price, and ISBN at the beginning of the review. Art/show reviews
should include the gallery, curator, and dates. For film and video/media
reviews, include the director, production company (if applicable), and year
of production.


Manuscripts and reviews submitted to Octopus should not be under
consideration at any other journal. Written permission to reproduce film and
video stills, artworks, photographs, song lyrics, or any other copyright
protected materials must be obtained by the authors from the
copyright-holders before submission.



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Octopus is an interdisciplinary, peer-reviewed journal published by the
graduate students of the Program in Visual Studies at the University of
California, Irvine. The journal is devoted to work by emerging scholars
engaged with visuality, culture, history, and theory from a range of
contexts, disciplines, and methodologies. In addition to submissions on "The
Dark," Octopus welcomes scholarship and criticism addressing questions
regarding the politics of vision, the historicity of visual practices, and
the cultures and theories of vision and visuality on an on-going basis.

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Received on Sat Mar 04 2006 - 16:13:22 EST