”Visual Frictions” Call for papers – deadline 15 April 2015

Visuality is an increasingly contested phenomenon. Rarely stable and never ”pure”, the visual is always intertwined with other senses and expressive forms, and is often implicated in multiple power relations. Whether as part of social and cultural practices, or as utilized in social scientific inquiry and investigation, the visual exerts a power that continues to challenge and be challenged by other ways of knowing. This is especially apparent when we consider visuality in its digital manifestations; as visually-based media expand their purview across social, cultural and geographic space we find they are often in ”friction” with established norms, structures and modes of expression.

These frictions and conflicts may involve the relative ”truthfulness” of camera-based images as they migrate across formats and through widely diverse cultural, political and historical settings. Conflicts can arise when images carry contradictory meanings in different cultural and political contexts, or when images suddenly appear to provide ”proof” of unacceptable behavior. Other examples include cases where non-visual modalities and expressive forms, such as text, sound or tactility, appear to contradict the experience of the visual. Such frictions arise both in scientific inquiry and in everyday life, as visuality continues to assert a claim to dominance – seeing is believing, isn’t it? – even in the face of contradictory claims. For this themed issue of the journal, we invite articles that address points of friction between visuality and other ways of knowing, in particular where the visual is in digital form.

Submissions are welcomed that discuss ”frictions” and foreseeable futures in areas

• where visuality and digital media intersect in everyday life; this includes contemporary social practices in which digitized visual media are integrated; social contexts framing digitally mediated visual expression; multimodal communication and interaction, both past and present;

• where visual and multimodal research methods have been employed; this would include methodological and epistemological reflections on visual and multisensory methods of scientific inquiry; problematizations of visuality, particularly in its relation to other senses; and discussions of experientially and sensory-based research designs to create new forms of knowledge production and presentation; or

• where digital diversity is evident, desirable, or problematic, as in comparative studies of digital visuality in different social, cultural and historical contexts; global distribution and stratification of digital media; or social, cultural, historical and political aspects of digital divides between and within societies.

Authors are encouraged to include visual material in their submissions. This may take the form of several illustrations for an article that is primarily text-based. Submissions will also be considered that take the form of a brief explanatory text with links to short films or a photoessay. Text-based articles may be a maximum of 6,000 words. For submissions based primarily in visual material, a shorter text is required, a suggested length of maximum 2,000. For details of how to submit your manuscript, and to check the Author Instructions and publication fee, please see here.