Call for Papers for Exhibition journal

Proposals due January 5, 2024 for the Fall 2024 Issue

Our editorial advisors will vet proposals in a blind review process, and you will be notified of acceptance or non-acceptance by February 1, 2024. Articles of 2,000 words maximum, along with high-resolution images, will be due in late March 2024.

Theme: Active Disruption

My favorite college professor included a signature at the end of all their emails that read, “Change is inevitable. Except from vending machines.” Now, many years later, I can appreciate the truth of this statement, but I also wonder: What new or revolutionary ideas can we bring about when we not only accept change as inevitable but actively pursue it in our institutions?

For this issue, we seek articles that explore the many ways museum exhibitions are actively disrupting the status quo and harnessing change as a positive force, for staff and visitors alike. Although we recognize that the pandemic disrupted life and work in ways that we are still coming to terms with, for this issue we seek to explore forms of disruption that we instigate by choice in an effort to proactively shape the future of our field. Proposals for this issue might:

  • Question business-as-usual approaches to exhibition-making by highlighting forward-thinking alternatives.
  • Explore evolving roles and shifting relationships among staff, audiences, and community stakeholders in the creation of exhibitions.
  • Propose new metrics for measuring an exhibition’s impact.
  • Address DEAI initiatives that have provoked real and ongoing changes.
  • Reevaluate the purpose of exhibitions within institutions, communities, and our rapidly changing world.
  • Examine staff- or community-led applications of AI or other technologies that have led to new approaches to content delivery or exhibition design.
  • Look at transformative approaches to design and exhibition-making that are shaping the exhibitions of tomorrow.

Or…disrupt our assumptions and take this theme in another direction entirely.

Proposals can focus on a specific exhibition or provide an overview of exhibitions and practices. The exhibitions and/or elements discussed can be created by or for museums of all disciplines, historical sites, galleries, institutions that collect and display living collections, or others. Proposals might come from designers, exhibit developers, interpretive planners, curators, writers, educators, or others who create and contribute to exhibitions. In all casesaccepted authors will be expected to write articles that illuminate larger issues; are descriptive and critical and analytical; and evaluation, even if informal, must evidence arguments for the strengths and weaknesses of a project.

How to write and submit a proposal for the call for papers

There are two parts to a call for papers proposal (which must be submitted as a Word document):

Part 1: Description (400 words max)

The description must:

  • Include a proposed title for the article.
  • Clearly and succinctly convey what the article’s thesis will be.
  • Indicate the approaches, strategies, or knowledge that readers will take away from the article.
  • Convey how the article would raise questions or illuminate larger issues that are widely applicable (especially if the proposal focuses on a single project).

Please note that accepted articles will be expected to provide critical, candid discussions about issues and challenges, successes and failures, and to provide some level of evaluation, even if informal.

Part 2: Brief Bio

Please provide a brief bio (no more than one paragraph) for each author that describes their background and qualifications for writing the article (please do not include resumes or CVs).

Send all proposals as Word documents via email to Jeanne Normand Goswami, Editor, Exhibition at: Submissions from colleagues and students around the world are welcomed and encouraged.

Other ways to contribute

We are trying something new this issue! Would you like to contribute to Exhibition but don’t have a project that fits the call? We are looking for volunteers to contribute to the journal as book reviewers and exhibition critique writers.

What we’ll need:

If you are interested in being considered for these opportunities, please let us know:

  • Your name, title/role, institution (if applicable), geographic location (so we can match you with exhibitions in your area), and any areas of particular interest or focus (e.g., are you a public history professional, art historian, scientist, or designer? Do you have experience with accessibility or DEAI?).
  • Whether you are interested in writing book reviews, exhibition critiques, or both (NOTE: Book reviewers will receive a complimentary copy of the chosen book).
  • If you have a specific idea in mind for either a book review or exhibition critique, please provide a brief (150-word max) description that includes why you think it would make a good addition to this issue (NOTE: you do not need to have a specific idea to be considered).
  • If you are selected to contribute to the issue, you will be notified in early February and a draft of your assigned submission (approximately 1,500 words) will be due at the end of March 2024.

Please send requested information via email by January 5, 2024 to:

Jeanne Normand Goswami, Editor, Exhibition at: Submissions from colleagues and students around the world are welcomed and encouraged.

Click here to subscribe to Exhibition or to access the archive of back issues.

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