CFP: Black and Queer, Music on Screen, liquid blackness

liquid blackness: journal of aesthetics and black studies 7, no. 1, Spring 2023

Co-edited by Ïxkári Estelle, James Tobias (Sync: Stylistics of Hieroglyphic Time), Stefan Torralba, and Calvin Warren (Ontological Terror: Blackness, Nihilism, Emancipation)

This special issue of liquid blackness: journal of aesthetics and black studies proposes to work on Black Queer expression in audiovisual musics cutting across histories of the avant-garde, popular audiovisuality, and frameworks both transnational and critically transhistorical. The goal of the issue is to set up the framework for a survey of Black and Queer musicality in audiovisual media so as to suggest “non-contemporaneous” dialogues between and across historical registers and media platforms, so that the critical expressive power of non-conforming persons of color become a given rather than an alibi, an absence, or a projection.

From early sound cinema to the present, queer or gender non-conforming black artists have voiced a complex series of claims, propositions, demands, and desires, from the introduction of sound to the cinematic screen to the introduction of social media video in networked digital cultures. Black feminist and queer scholarship has often engaged with the meanings and powers expressed in these works, or in musical artists indebted to them or referencing them, from Angela Davis’ reading of transformations of historical memory in Smith’s St. Louis Blues (Blues Legacies and Black Feminisms), to Lindon Barrett’s study of Billie Holiday (Blackness and Value), to Saidiya Hartman’s discussion of errancy in relation to woman-identified women singers in the early years of recording (Wayward Lives, Beautiful Experiments), and DaphneBrooks’ recent reading of black women’s use of arrangement, sonic curation, and blackness as technology (Liner Notes for the Revolution) in articulating a politics of being and becoming. Working through postcolonial, decolonial, diasporic, and critical ethnic studies’ critical innovations, we may productively identify discontinuities in terms of technical medium and mode of distribution, from film short, to soundie, to Hollywood musical set piece, to film promotional clips, music television clips, and music video made for social media. At the same time, we will also observe the ways in which concepts like Sharpe’s “wake work,” “fugitivity” in Moten’s critical aesthetics, “opacity” in Fleetwood, Browne, or Musser, “boiz” or non-normative sex-gender identities in Harris, the expressive technics of “queer OS” in Keeling, or “ontological terror” in Warren – only a few of potentially generative formulations appearing in recent Black Study – may help gloss the gestures, meanings, and forces at work in black queer voice in technical mediation. How may we read the histories and futures of audiovisual musicality in these terms, given the dynamic work of artists over the last decade ranging from, say, Zebra Katz to Janelle Monae, Odd Future et. al., Mykki Blanco, Moses Sumney – and many more, too numerous to list here?


Black and Queer, Music on Screen seeks to redress a grave limitation in current scholarship. Typically, attention to medium and historical specificities in studies of onscreen musicality have so prioritized the form/medium problem in cinema, video, or digital media studies, such that attention to “film,” “video,” or “digital” formats pre-empts the observation of continuities or conversations across historical periods or transitioning media. One result is that even as black and sex-gender non-confirming subjects are “rediscovered” in “early sound film,” black and sex- gender non-confirming innovations in later moments and in the contemporary moment are cordoned off from one another, safely consigned to some futural fate of what will be a belated rediscovery, or held apart as “alternatives” to the dominant rather than continuing a long- standing historical critique.

While the disciplinary preoccupations of cinema and media studies with regard to medium specificity and period have made it unlikely that concerns and problems expressed in the technical mediation of Black Queer voice as musical expression to surface as primary problems in cinema and media studies, nevertheless, some of the most affecting and influential works of artist cinema – Julien’s Looking for Langston, for example – have clearly problematized and made substance of these aesthetic and political histories, as well as their deferral in the culture industries and in the academy alike. This special issue calls for critical work centering both historical and recent upsurges in the aesthetic and critical powers of Black and Queer musical expression on screen. What happens when we understand, as Bey (2020) has argued, “the history of blackness as a history of disruption,” so that disrupting racializations along with sex-gender non-conformance become productive of the labor animating audiovisual music’s meaning and effects?

Finally, we ask, what does the sound, voice, or gesture of radical ethical demand feel like when it hits the poetics and aesthetics of the musical screen? What revolutions, in other words, in retrospect and in theory, can we understand to have in fact been sung, danced, and thus enjoined once we align the relevant critical frameworks and exemplars, so that the limits and obstacles to a larger historical and theoretical understanding of expressive queer black gesture are removed?

Topics List
• Black queer practices of exceeding and disabling technology in the form of musical, audiovisual technics• Archival recovery, fictive archiving, and critical fabulation of the archive through voice, sound, music, and musical audiovisuality• Hemispheric and triangular kinships of Black queer media as musical counter-positions within the Americas• Productivities and problematics of Black queer practices enabling “queer of color” expression• The politics of citation, reference, and allusion in Black queer musical media practices• Transmedia musical imaginaries, ethics, and aesthetics• Surprising transnational circuits of visual imageries and performance practices, that is, audiovisual treatments of the Black Atlantic or the Black Pacific• Musicality, voice, and sound informing counterintuitive or counterhegemonic readings of popular Back queer media• Digitality, diaspora, musicality• Soul as reason: re-thinking the place of affect as paralinguistic rhetoric of critique, community, or desire • “Dirty” computing, musical freakdom, and the gestural paragrammatics of collective self- fashioning• Musicality and remembrance as transformation of collective memory, in Black musical film more generally, in addition to Blues women’s recordings.• Afro-Historicisms, Afro-Futurisms, or Afro-Pessimisms on the musical screen• Shouts and whispers on screen: historical claims and rhetorics in Black audiovision• Cool, hot, noise: style on the musical screen• Analytics of track, mix, and edit on screen as homologies of self-fashioning and collective movement• Ad hoc surrealisms, absurdisms, anti-realisms: musicality as fugitivity• Generational non-contemporaneity: Black voice carrying over and beyond period and across medium 

Submission Due: January 15, 2022 (send to journalsubmissions@liquidblackness.com)

Author Guidelines & Submission Information• Submission Types:• Traditional essays: approx. 3-5,000 words (including footnotes)—all essays should be accompanied by at least one image• We welcome submissions of interviews, visual and textual art, video, and other artistic work• Questions about the length, style, format of experimental submissions can be directed to journalsubmissions@liquidblackness.com• liquid blackness follows the formatting and reference guidelines stipulated by The Chicago Manual of Style• All submissions, solicited and unsolicited, will be peer-reviewed• Media Specifications• We welcome the submission of media files such as video or sound clips, which will be published as supplementary data. The following audio and video file types are acceptable as supplementary data files and supported by our online platform:.mp3, .mp4, .wav, .wma, .au, .m4a, .mpg, .mpeg, .mov, .avi, .wmv., html.• Executable files (.exe) are not acceptable.• There is no restriction on the number of files per article or on the size of files; however, please keep in mind that very large files may be problematic for readers with slow connection speeds.• Please ensure that each video or audio clip is called out in the text of the article, much like how a figure or table is called out: e.g., “see supplementary audio file 1.”

—About liquid blackness
• liquid blackness is an open-access journal, which means that all content is freely available without charge to readers or their institutions.• Our Editorial and Advisory Boards 

Mission Statement
The liquid blackness journal seeks to carve out a place for aesthetic theory and the most radical agenda of Black Studies to come together in productive ways, with a double goal: to fully attend to the aesthetic work of blackness and to the political work of form. In this way, the journal strives to develop innovative approaches and analytic tools to address points ofconvergence between the exigencies of black life and the many slippery ways in which blackness is encountered in contemporary sonic and visual culture.

liquid blackness aims to establish a point of exchange at the intersection of multiple fields. The history of this intentionally undisciplined space is best understood through a series of questions pivoting around (1) the relationship between aesthetics and the ontology of blackness and (2) the generative potential of blackness as an aesthetic. If blackness is, as we argue after Fred Moten, an unregulated generative force, then the liquid blackness journal seeks to offer a dedicated space where it can be consistently unleashed. As we extend and confront lines of inquiry from a number of research fields, our approach is equally concerned with theoretical content, analytical methods, and scholarly praxis.

CFP: APS Printmaking Workshop For Early-Career Curators and Scholars in New Mexico (May 23-27, 2022)

The Association of Print Scholars (APS) is currently accepting applications for the first of two intensive, hands-on printmaking workshops for emerging scholars and curators funded by The Paper Project: Prints and Drawings Curatorship in the 21st Century, an international initiative of the Getty Foundation that supports training and professional development for early- and mid-career curators of prints and drawings.

Based in New Mexico, this five-day workshop will be dedicated to planographic techniques (lithography and monotype) and will be hosted at the renowned Tamarind Institute and the University of New Mexico Art Museum in Albuquerque and 10 Grand Press in Santa Fe. 

A thorough comprehension of various printmaking methods is critical to producing scholarship and exhibitions on these media. Yet, many early-career print curators lack such practical experience as they embark upon their careers due to competing professional and academic demands that make it difficult to enroll in a semester-long printmaking course. Because the intricacies of printmaking are often difficult to grasp from text alone, APS hopes this workshop will provide invaluable technical and material knowledge of the medium that will not only contribute to, but also enhance, a print curator’s and scholar’s understanding of a work’s content, intention, and aesthetic. Our aim is also to prepare participants to better communicate these complex techniques in an accessible language to a general audience and contribute new personal insights to the field.

Ten early-career curators and scholars will be selected to participate in the workshop. Designed as an intensive program, the first two days will consist of hands-on work in lithography at the Tamarind Institute. The third and fourth days will be dedicated to studio work in monotype at 10 Grand Press. The final day will consist of a tour of the works on paper collection at the University of New Mexico Museum of Art.

Applications to the workshop are open to candidates who have a graduate degree (or equivalent experience), which must have been awarded within 10 years. Preference will be given to early-career curatorial professionals (curators, curatorial or research assistants/associates, postdoctoral fellows), although advanced graduate students and independent scholars with a demonstrated interest in printmaking and curatorial practice will also be considered. 

Travel, accommodation, and meal expenses will be fully covered by APS and the Getty Foundation.

To apply, please submit the following documents via an online form:

  • A brief statement (500 max.) describing your research/work and how it would be enriched by this workshop
  • If you have previously participated in programming sponsored by The Paper Project or the Association of Print Scholars, please include a brief description of your experience and how it impacted your scholarship (250 words max.)
  • A current CV
  • Contact information for an academic or professional reference. Please note that one letter of reference must be emailed to workshops@printscholars.org, with the subject line “APS Printmaking Workshop 2022 – Reference [Candidate Last Name, First Name]”, by your recommender following the submission of the online application.

All application materials are due by November 6, 2021. To view the full announcement online, click here.

Important notice regarding COVID-19The health and safety of our workshop attendees is our top priority. In accordance with local state law requirements, all those attending the workshop must be fully vaccinated, and guests will be required to share proof of vaccination and photo identification prior to the start of the workshop. Face coverings will also be required in all indoor public spaces. We are monitoring the situation closely and expect to provide additional health and safety protocols closer to the event. Thank you for your cooperation.

CFP: New Scholars @ American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies conference

ASECS 2022
52nd Annual Meeting
Hilton Baltimore Inner Harbor
March 31–April 2, 2022
Annual Meeting Website: https://www.asecs2022.org/

Anne Schroder New Scholars Session [Historians of Eighteenth-Century Art and Architecture]
Dipti Khera (New York University), dipti.khera@nyu.edu; and Aaron Wile (National Gallery of Art), A-Wile@nga.gov
This is an open session for advanced graduate students and early career scholars in the art and architectural history of the long eighteenth century around the globe. We especially encourage submissions from underrepresented scholars; those who work in universities, museums, and para-academic institutions outside of North America and/or in adjunct employment positions; and those who define their stakes, topics, and temporal frames for the eighteenth century through visual/material/spatial analyses in relation to histories of enslavement, colonization, and the racialization and discrimination of bodies, knowledge, places, and objects.
Proposals should be sent directly to the session chairs no later than 17 September 2021.

CFP: Black Collage @ CAA2022

caa.confex.com/caa/2022/webprogrampreliminary/Session9195.html
caa.confex.com/caa/2022/webprogrampreliminary/meeting.html

Black Collage
Session will present: Virtual

Julie L. McGee, University of Delaware
Email Address(s):mcgee@udel.edu

Black Collage, before and beyond Romare Bearden, respects the multivalent nature inherent to Black and Collage. How have and do artists and scholars participate in the un-doing of modernist tropes associated with a history of collage that displaced Black subjectivity and agency? Black collage may adhere to a practice of coller, in reference to the French verb which means to paste or glue, but in ways that don’t inherently bind this practice to European Modernism, Pablo Picasso or Georges Braque. Suppose coller hews more to adhesive than metaphor–that Black collage transcends pieces for compositional uniqueness, a symphony’s manuscript. Black American artists used collage before Bearden, yet there is no denying the centrality of his work to this conversation. Indeed, Bearden’s significance calls us to think deeply about the extended practice and importance of collage and Black artists. Among the many who have are Ralph Ellison, Kobena Mercer, Patricia Hills, James Smalls, Jacqueline Francis, Ruth Fine, and Brent Hayes Edwards. In early 1961, while living in Stockholm, Sam Middleton completed a treatise on collage that placed his own work in a direct line of inheritance from Picasso and Cubism to Surrealism and Dada—for its radical aesthetic refusals and nowness. Appropriating Shahn, Middleton wrote, “Art always has its ingredients of impudence, its rejection of established order so that it may substitute its own fresh and contemporary authority and its own enlightenment.” This session invites contributions related to Black collage, audacity and enlightenment. Considerations of history, theory, conservation, and artistic practice are welcome.

CFP: Nineteenth-Century Studies Association Conference

RADICALISM & REFORM
The 43rd Annual Conference
Nineteenth-Century Studies Association
Rochester, New York
March 16-19, 2022
Proposal Deadline: September 30, 2021

Conference Website: ncsaweb.net/conferences/2022-ncsa-conference-information/

Join NCSA’s mailing list: mailchi.mp/4b3379af336e/ncsamailinglist

Inspired by the history of radicalism and reform in Rochester, New York, the NCSA committee invites proposals exploring the radical possibilities of the nineteenth-century world. From the aftershocks of the French and American revolutions to mutinies and rebellion in colonies across the globe, the nineteenth century was a period of both unrest and possibility. Abolition, suffrage, and reform movements reshaped prisons, education, and housing, marking this century as a period of institutional making and unmaking: a reckoning with ills of the past that was also profoundly optimistic about a more just and prosperous future.

Radicalism is also a generative term for considering transitional moments or social tensions: “radical” is often used interchangeably with “extreme,” but its earliest definitions describe not what is new or unusual, but what is foundational or essential. “Radical” is used to describe literal and figurative roots: the roots of plants, roots of musical chords, and the roots of words. To be radical is to embody tensions between origins and possibilities: to be anchored in what is foundational while also holding the potential for paradigm-shifting change. We welcome papers that consider these tensions in nineteenth-century culture, as well as those that consider possibilities for reforming nineteenth-century studies or academic life. Topics on nineteenth-century literature, history, art, music, or other cultural forms might include political movements or divisions, activism, resistance, labor, collective and direct action, or mutinies and rebellion. We also encourage broader interpretations of the conference theme: outsiders and outcasts, visionaries, agents of change, utopias, breakthroughs, failed reforms, conformity, or stagnation.

Topics on the state of nineteenth-century studies might include politically engaged teaching and scholarship, academic labor practices, harassment or prejudice in the academy, or new approaches to humanities education.

For more information, visit: ncsaweb.net/conferences/2022-ncsa-conference-information/

CFP: Beyond In/visibility: the Politics of Asian American Representation in American Art History (for CAA Annual Conference 2022) –submit by Aug. 30, 2021

CFP for CAA Annual Conference 2022

Beyond In/visibility: the Politics of Asian American Representation in American Art History (Association of Historians of American Art [AHAA] Panel Session)

What are the consequences of asking for greater Asian American visibility in art history?

We are reckoning anew with our discipline’s intellectual and material priorities which have enforced racial-class-gender hierarchies and American imperialist and exceptionalist ideologies. Across museums and universities, immediate solutions call for increased inclusion and representation of marginalized peoples into existing historical canons. What are the limits of these correctives for peoples who have been dehumanized through aestheticization and surveillance throughout American history, and endangered because of their hypervisibility in everyday life? Now over 50 years since the term “Asian American” emerged as a disciplinary and political category, we must reflect on ways to narrate the specificities of the Asian diaspora within American academies and museums beyond the binaries of visible/invisible, inclusion/exclusion.

This panel invites ongoing research, curatorial case studies, and experimental methodologies that engage with issues such as: How has “Asian [United States] American” been a useful and limiting category for research, curation, and museum interpretation? What are strategies to present the historical absence or loss of Asian American subjects in archives and permanent collections? Are there ways to identify unconventional presence through creative citation or display practices? How might Asian American art histories attend to moments of solidarity and failure with respect to Black, Latinx, Indigenous and Pacific Islander communities and objects? How can Asian American art histories counter existing disciplinary priorities to aestheticize, visibly represent, visually clarify, expose, access, and possess its subjects—for example, through opacity, obscuration, dis-orientation, mistranslation, protective veiling?

Please submit by August 20, 2021

CFP” “Dark Amusements: Turn-of-the-Century American Spectacles and Race” @ SECAC 2021

Please consider submitting a proposal to the SECAC 2021 panel, “Dark Amusements: Turn-of-the-Century American Spectacles and Race”

The U.S. at the turn-of-the-century marked a period of profound technological and societal transformations. This session will examine the growth of spectacles in response to these sweeping changes. This marked a turning point in the U.S., where people’s interests shifted, as David Nye points out, from a fetishization of the “natural sublime” to the “technological sublime.” This change, spurred by the myriad inventions and innovations flooding the consumer market, led to new ways of seeing, and new forms of entertainment. These new forms of entertainment often took the shape of public spectacles and popular amusements. This session will examine how the burgeoning American spectacle culture celebrated American ingenuity, on the one hand, while simultaneously re-inscribing and reinforcing racial hierarchies. In the post-Reconstruction era, when white anxiety about the status of people of color within American society was at its zenith, spectacles were used to circulate and naturalize racist ideologies about white superiority. The repercussions of this expression of hegemonic power by European Americans will likewise be examined. Potential paper topics may include, but are not limited to, panoramas, world’s fairs, early cinema, vaudeville, minstrelsy, amusement parks, Wild West shows, or the perverse spectacles of lynching postcards and before and after photographs from Indigenous boarding schools.

SECAC 2021 in Lexington, KY – November 10-13
Abstracts due May 4. 2021
Conference and submission details can be found by following this link: secacart.org/page/Lexington

CFP: Landscapes of Slavery, Landscapes of Freedom: The African diaspora and the American built environment

Harvard Graduate School of Design

November 5-7, 2021

Histories of the Atlantic world have focused both on the adaptation of ideas from the Old Continent to the new and on the material and cultural exchanges occurring throughout the centuries. To complement this scholarship, studies have been conducted on the slave trade between West Africa, mainland North America and the Caribbean, which formed the base of plantation economy and helped build the fortunes of many landowners in the colonial and antebellum period of the republic. Recent scholarship has acknowledged the violence of the archive of white records of slavery that have silenced the voices of the enslaved, and this work has sought to recover the experiences and vantage points of slavery’s victims.

This forum will address a more specific set of questions that have to do not only with the unique contribution the forced labor of the African diaspora and Afro-descendants brought to the plantation economy, but also with the potential exchange of knowledge about gardening and cultivation practices across the Atlantic, both from West Africa and between the Caribbean and mainland North America. On occasion the cultivation of specific staple crops such as rice depended upon the expertise of the enslaved. More generally, many of those forced to labor on their masters’ plantations simultaneously worked on small plots of land within their quarters, enabling them to exercise limited agency with regard to the extent and type of crop cultivation for their own use and consumption. When slavery legally ended, the exploitation of black labor continued, although over time black land-ownership increased and perhaps involved different approaches to land use than was common among white small-holders. Reconstructing these histories and those of the environments Africans built and cultivated for others and for themselves is challenging, as there is only a limited archival record that contains few enslaved voices.

This conference seeks to engage with the work of archaeologists, ethnobotanists, cultural geographers, anthropologists, and of experts in African American Studies and oral history in order to form a more complete picture of the African contribution to the shaping of the North American landscape.

Proposals for unpublished papers are welcome from scholars in any field. Topics might include (but are not limited to) such subjects as:

• the relationship between place-making and slave labor in North America and its cultural, social and economic underpinnings.

• the adaptation of imported African horticultural and agricultural knowledge in the Caribbean and North America.

• the exchange of knowledge related to agricultural and gardening practices between the Caribbean and the North American mainland.

• Atlantic World foodways.

• crop cultivation and food growing practices on plantation sites indebted to forced labor.

• the ways in which slavery and forced labor made intensive cultivation and production possible.

• the place-making of former slaves in both rural and urban environments.

Abstracts of no more than 500 words are to be headed with the applicant’s name, title of the paper, professional affiliation, and contact information. A two-page CV should also be included in the submission. Please send proposals by March 15, 2021 to: Raffaella Fabiani Giannetto, Graduate School of Design, Harvard University. Email: rfabiani@gsd.harvard.edu

Authors of accepted proposals will be required to submit the complete text of their papers by June 15, and carry out potential revisions by August 30, 2021, after which the symposium chair will circulate them among the speakers. Publication of the essays presented at the conference is anticipated.

Hot Metal Bridge Post-Baccalaureate Fellowship Program at University of Pittsburgh (applications due Apr. 2, 2021)

Barbara McCloskey at the University of Pittsburgh writes:

Dear Colleagues,

I’m writing to spread the word about the Hot Metal Bridge Post-Bac Program (HMB) at the University of Pittsburgh. This 1-year, fully funded post-baccalaureate fellowship program is designed to help talented students from groups traditionally underrepresented in art history and other selected disciplines in the natural and social sciences, including first-generation graduate students and those from disadvantaged socio-economic backgrounds.  HMB helps to bridge the gap between an undergraduate degree and a graduate training program. Program eligibility is limited to US citizens or permanent residents. Fellows enjoy financial support (including tuition and stipend) and mentoring by both faculty and graduate students as they prepare themselves for a successful program of doctoral studies. This is a great opportunity for recent college graduates, those who seek to change careers, and other applicants who have completed an undergraduate degree, are highly motivated and show strong academic promise, but are not quite ready to apply to a doctoral program in their field of interest. Of those who have completed the program since 2011, 80% have gone on to graduate studies at Pitt and elsewhere. 

Full details, answers to frequently asked questions, and application instructions are available here: https://www.asgraduate.pitt.edu/hot-metal-bridge-post-bac-program

In the History of Art and Architecture (HAA) Department, Hot Metal Bridge Fellows enroll in graduate seminars, take part in our research constellations, and are integrated into other aspects of university life along with the first-year graduate cohort.  They also receive personalized mentoring on their applications to PhD programs. 

Information on the Graduate Program in History of Art and Architecture is available here: https://www.haa.pitt.edu/graduate

My colleagues and I in HAA and other participating departments at Pitt would be very grateful if you would help us spread the word about this program among your students, colleagues, and broader networks. While the deadline for Fall 2021–Friday, April 2, 2021–is rapidly approaching, we hope you will also keep this program in mind for students who could be ready to apply next year, if not this year. 

Thank you in advance for your help in disseminating this opportunity, and please encourage potential applicants and/or their mentors to get in touch with our Interim Chair, Jennifer Josten (jej40@pitt.edu), or Director of Graduate Studies, Barbara McCloskey (bmcc@pitt.edu), with any questions they may have.


Best wishes,

Barbara McCloskey

Professor and Director of Graduate Studies

Department of History of Art and Architecture

University of Pittsburgh

Call for Proposals: “24 Views” Submit by Mar. 31, 2021

Tiffany Lin writes:

“24 VIEWS is a longitudinal project that investigates the history of racial classification through US Census data.

Prior to COVID-19 related disruptions, 24 VIEWS was envisioned as an exhibition with public facing activations, I have pivoted away from in-person programming and am now pursuing an expansive curatorial project.
I now invite writers, artists, or anyone so inclined to submit proposals or existing work on past, current, or future implications of racial classification in the United States. I welcome critical essays, manifestos, treatises, poetry, prose, speculative fiction, and visual works of all media. 
I have modest stipends available for 24 works. For now, the project will be web-based but I’m working on the possibility of a print version pending the outcome of other funding opportunities. Details available at 24views.org. Please share far and wide – send me your best!” 

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