Call for Chapters: Excess and Visual Culture

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Chapter proposals are welcomed for a proposed volume entitled The Uses of Excess in Visual and Material Culture, 1700-1939. The objective of the collection will be to illuminate the many ways that excess as a historically contingent discursive construct has influenced the production and consumption of visual and material culture. Excess has long been perceived as a negative characteristic, and has therefore been used to frame various groups and individuals as morally corrupt or degenerate. Alternatively, excess has been embraced by some in transgressive, even empowering, ways, and as a strategy for self-fashioning. Guiding questions for this project will include: Who has been represented as ‘excessive’? How has excess been represented? How did eighteenth-, nineteenth- and early twentieth-century viewers recognize excess? Who has had the power to represent or describe someone else as excessive? In terms of material culture: What objects have been linked with excess? Why? Who were the primary consumers of these objects? Of particular interest will be chapters that address how excess was used in British visual and material culture in global contexts. Innovative methodologies and theoretical approaches are also especially welcome, and contributions can address art or visual culture from any geographical location that was produced or consumed between 1700 and 1939.

Chapters are to be approximately 7000 words, inclusive of footnotes and bibliographical information. They must be original contributions that have not been published previously, and will not be published for at least two years after The Uses of Excess is published. Once contributors have been determined, a book proposal including chapter abstracts will be submitted to Ashgate for review.

The deadline for abstracts (max. 500 words) is February 1st, 2011. The deadline for chapters is September 1st, 2011.

Please send abstracts and CVs by e-mail to Dr. Julia Skelly.

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