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Friday, April 4, 2014

The Mir­ror of Race Project Wel­comes Sub­mis­sions from Artists and Writ­ers from Across the Dis­ci­plines and Careers

The Mir­ror of Race project wel­comes sub­mis­sions from artists and writ­ers from across the dis­ci­plines and careers, both aca­d­e­mic and non-academic. See below for a list of sug­gested topics.

Sub­mis­sions will be peer-reviewed by schol­ars, artists or prac­ti­tion­ers in the appro­pri­ate field. See below for fur­ther details on the review process.

Con­tri­bu­tions may be in the fol­low­ing forms:

1) Com­men­tary or art­work inspired by a spe­cific image in the collection.

2) Essays or art­work relat­ing to gen­eral themes raised by the exhi­bi­tion and the project as a whole.

Con­tri­bu­tions should be orig­i­nal works. Con­trib­u­tors will retain rights to what they pub­lish with us; we ask only for acknowl­edge­ment in future publications.

The Mir­ror of Race project intends to engage audi­ences at all lev­els, from ele­men­tary school to grad­u­ate stu­dents, as well as the gen­eral pub­lic. For the most part, we are look­ing for con­tri­bu­tions that a gen­er­ally informed reader could under­stand. We would like to avoid aca­d­e­mic jar­gon and scholas­ti­cism as much as pos­si­ble. While we expect discipline-specific rigor from essay con­tri­bu­tions, we seek work that mod­els per­sonal reflec­tion and engage­ment with the images and issues, not the con­ven­tional aca­d­e­mic style of imper­sonal detachment.


We are seek­ing artis­tic sub­mis­sions from all fields, from pho­tog­ra­phy and film to paint­ing and to poetry and sto­ry­telling. Artis­tic sub­mis­sions should con­sider the fol­low­ing criteria:

1) Sub­mis­sions by artists should enter into a con­ver­sa­tion with the pho­tographs in the online exhi­bi­tion in a man­ner appro­pri­ate to their genre.

2) Sub­mis­sions should be suit­able for exhi­bi­tion online. We will cre­ate exhi­bi­tion pages on the project’s web­site for suc­cess­ful submissions.

3) Sub­mis­sions should meet the stan­dards of their respec­tive fields, to be assessed by peer review.

4) Artists are encour­aged to pro­vide a nar­ra­tive explain­ing their sub­mis­sions and their rela­tion to the pho­tographs and the themes of The Mir­ror of Race project. 


Please do not sub­mit unso­licited work. Instead, please write to the project direc­tor (see below) with a brief abstract or syn­op­sis of your intended contribution.

Because the Mir­ror of Race has a vari­ety of poten­tial audi­ences, please include a brief state­ment about your intended audi­ence (for exam­ple: ele­men­tary school teach­ers; gen­eral read­ers; high school stu­dents; col­lege stu­dents; etc.).

Note that you do not have to be an aca­d­e­mic scholar or artist to con­tribute to the project! If you are not, please pro­vide a resume or cur­ricu­lum vitae so that we may know more about your background.

Writ­ten work may vary in length, from rel­a­tively short sto­ries or close read­ings of indi­vid­ual images (about 1000 words) to longer research essays (up to 5,000 words, or longer). Exist­ing pub­li­ca­tions aver­age around 2500 words. The author’s pre­lim­i­nary pro­posal should give a pro­vi­sional indi­ca­tion of length.

If your pro­posal seems appro­pri­ate to our needs after a pre­lim­i­nary review, we will invite you to sub­mit the com­plete work for a for­mal review.

The project has edi­tors in the arts, the human­i­ties, the social sci­ences, and the nat­ural sci­ences. Once we have your com­pleted work, the appro­pri­ate edi­tor will find a suit­able expert to make the review. Peer review will be blind.

Detailed guide­lines for the peer review process may be found here.

To make an inquiry about sub­mis­sion, please email Gre­gory Fried, the project direc­tor, at


The fol­low­ing list of sug­gested top­ics is not exhaus­tive by any means, but it does cover some of the themes we would like to see addressed by essays, com­men­tary, and works of art (visual, spo­ken word, writ­ten – all kinds). We wel­come other ideas.

• Visual “pro­fil­ing” of race and ethnicity

• Sci­ence and pseudo-science of racial identification

• Gen­der, race and passing

• Race and the law

• Race and the idea of America

• Analy­sis of spe­cific mar­gin­al­ized “racial” groups

• “White­ness” as a social construction

• The “raced” lan­guage of cloth­ing and the pose

• Race and the his­tory of pho­tog­ra­phy in the period

• Depic­tions of fam­ily, friend­ship, and intimacy

• Vio­lence, war and race

• Class, occu­pa­tion, race

• The Cen­sus: at mid-19th cen­tury and in the present

• The native and the foreign

• Race and nature; land­scape and cityscape

• Con­struct­ing the beau­ti­ful and the ugly

• Close read­ings of indi­vid­ual images

• Teach­ing race

• Immi­gra­tion and race

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