John Beck (University of Newcastle) and David Holloway (University of Derby) invite proposals for a book of edited essays on American visual cultures of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.
The growth in popularity of the study of visual culture is clearly indicated by recent trends in academic publishing and higher education curricula. Much of the recently published material has placed stress upon the processes through which certain kinds of visual culture (film over TV, painting over photography, for example) are consumed. This stress often downplays the historical conditions in which visual texts are produced, and the multivalent contextual and intertextual relationships between visual and other historical texts.
We invite proposals for essays to be included in a multidisciplinary textbook on the historical dimensions of United States' visual cultures, from the Civil War to the presidency of George Bush jr. On completion we anticipate that the book will offer a broadly chronological account of significant moments, events and debates within American history, as they were represented (overtly or 'unconsciously') in the visual media of their times. The book will be organised around two central assumptions: firstly, that history may be defined as a shifting nexus of social, political and economic tensions in which different social groupings compete for power and authority; and secondly that the form and content of all visual texts are indivisible from the historical periods in which they get made.
We invite essays that might discuss, indicatively, film, photography, painting, television or visual news media. We would also be interested in considering proposals that discuss other visual cultures, such as poster art, advertising, newspaper cartoons, and so forth. Indicatively, essays might consider specific visual texts, or groups of texts, within the broad contexts of: the rise of monopoly capitalism in the second half of the C19th; the Civil War and Reconstruction; urbanisation and industrialisation; the opening of the West, the closing of the frontier; the drift toward nativism 1880s-1920s; the economic crises of the 1870s-1890s; Progressivism; US intervention in World War One; the suffragette movement; the first Red Scare of 1919-20; prohibition; early Fordism in the 1920s; the Great Depression; US involvement in World War Two; the Fordist 'long boom' of the postwar era; McCarthyism and the Red Scare; Cold War foreign policy; the Korean War; the rise of the Sunbelt, and the New West; the New Left and other dissenting cultures of the 1960s; Civil Rights struggle; Black Power; Second-Wave feminism; the Vietnam War; oil crisis and economic stagnation in the 1970s; the emergence of neo-liberal economics, Reaganism and the New Right, the 'culture wars'; the globalizing of American capital, and the shift from a regime of 'Fordist' political economy to a new regime of 'post-Fordism'; post-Cold War 'American' identities. These suggestions are intended to be indicative only, and we leave it to contributors to set the historical frame of reference in which they wish to work.
Proposals of around 500 words may be sent by email to D.J.Holloway@derby.ac.uk, or by regular mail to Dr. David Holloway at the address below.
Please mail all proposals to arrive no later than June 30, 2001. Where appropriate, contributors are also welcome to submit any completed essays for consideration at this stage.
Dr. David Holloway,
Department of American Studies,
Humanities Languages and Law,
University of Derby,
Derby DE22 1GB,
ENGLAND. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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