RLEC: Call for papers on “Colonial, anti-colonial and post-colonial museums, collections and exhibitions”

Editors: Moisés de Lemos Martins (CECS, University of Minho, Portugal), João Sarmento (CECS, University of Minho, Portugal) & Alda Costa (Eduardo Mondlane University, Mozambique)

The encounter between audiences and art objects, in a specific space, has a long and complex history. It is a hermeneutical challenge, which changes over time, in accordance with the needs of the epoch and the objectives of each society and culture. In this encounter between art, time and audiences – which is both complex and fleeting – museums, collections and exhibitions project different representations of the world and narratives of the lives of human communities, which observe the standards of a wide array of different, and often conflicting, curatorial strategies.

Museums, collections and exhibitions are always regulated by political and programmatic objectives and are therefore open to multiple interpretations. Museums, collections and exhibitions always observe a regime of truth, regardless of whether they are founded by nation states, or by revolutionary or counter-revolutionary forces, and whether they are in support of the established regimes, or aim to alter the established order. This regime of truth is the core condition for the possibility of representations that a specific community makes of itself and its epoch, while also formulating possibilities of meaning in order to help us understand what it means to be human.

In the case of exhibitions, which are organised for pre-defined periods of time and which generate more or less strong memories, of pacification and connection, or of rupture and withdrawal, the study of surviving materials – whether memories, artefacts, catalogues, news or posters – although unable to reproduce the actual experience of the exhibitions, make it possible to create records of their underlying discourses.

This issue of the Revista Lusófona de Estudos Culturais / Lusophone Journal of Cultural Studies aims to explore all these dimensions of museums, collections and exhibitions – their representations, narratives and memories, how they intersect with colonial, anti-colonial and post-colonial dimensions, i.e. related to the retrieval, denunciation and representation of the subordinate status, and also with the legitimation of social movements.

We aim to present studies that take into account the analysis of museums, and also of collections and exhibitions of colonial states, which also extends to contemporary post-colonial museums and exhibitions. We thereby seek to analyse both large-scale state projects, in important official sites, as well as more or less obscure exhibition in small private galleries, involving a highly diversified range of public, private or non-governmental agents.

For this issue of the Revista Lusófona de Estudos Culturais / Lusophone Journal of Cultural Studies we will accept contributions on museums, collections and exhibitions that question colonial, anti-colonial and post-colonial identities and memories. Possible topics of analysis include the following:

The politics of memory
What role do museums play in political change? How can museums address the legacy of colonialism, dictatorships, genocide, war, and forced migrations?
Museums are able to deconstruct established memory-based narratives and build new narratives. How can museums relate to activism? How are museums inserted in the global culture of memory?

Collection, curating and representation policies
How can we analyse collections and exhibitions in today’s societies? How can we represent inconvenient or conflictual backgrounds? How is it possible for museums to use collections of the past in order to trace the history of the future? What limitations and relevance do museum collections have today? What challenges do curators currently face? How can curatorial practices influence the public’s educational process?

The challenges of participation and collaboration
How can museums relate to distinct and plural groups, while also discussing complex issues with audiences? What are the main characteristics of public involvement with the museum? How can museums foster debate and find new ways of involving communities and audiences?

Other topics:

– The visual culture of colonialism in museums and exhibitions
– The representation of the self and the other in museums and exhibitions
– Travel, tourism and museums
– Museums and Eurocentric exhibitions and narratives
– Slavery museums
– Museums and exhibitions and the redemption of African cultures and history
– Museums dedicated to liberation and independence movements
– Exhibitions and memorialisation processes

 

KEY DATES

Full article submission deadline: May 6, 2020
Editor’s decision on full articles: July 27, 2020
Deadline for sending the full version and translated version: September 21, 2020
Issue publication date: December 2020

LANGUAGE

Articles can be submitted in English or Portuguese. After the peer review process, the authors of the selected articles should ensure translation of the respective article, and the editors shall have the final decision on publication of the article.

EDITION AND SUBMISSION

Revista Lusófona de Estudos Culturais/Lusophone Journal of Cultural Studies is a peer-reviewed journal that uses a double blind review process. After submission, each paper will be distributed to two reviewers, previously invited to evaluate it, in terms of its academic quality, originality and relevance to the objectives and scope of the theme chosen for the journal’s current issue.

Originals must be submitted via the journal’s website. If you are accessing Revista Lusófona de Estudos Culturais/Lusophone Journal of Cultural Studies for the first time, you must register in order to submit your article (here).

The guidelines for authors can be consulted here.

For further information, please contact: rlec@ics.uminho.pt

[Posted: 06-02-2020]