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Call for Papers: "The Dark"
Octopus (Volume 2) Fall 2006
Deadline for Submissions: April 3, 2006.

We are pleased to announce the topic of our second issue — “The Dark.”

Concepts of “light” and “dark” have currency as a metaphorical referent—to illuminate, cast a shadow on, to set in contrast to, as markers of knowledge or obfuscation. Exemplified by one of the dominant philosophical regimes in the Western tradition—emerging from the “Dark Ages” and into the “Enlightenment”— this metaphor assumes a position as a structuring matrix, a system of oppositions or relativities used to work through historical moments and objects of study. Because cultural conventions often set light (active/positive/presence) and dark (passive/negative/absence) against each other, the incorporation of these ubiquitous concepts manifests itself in a broad range of cultural concerns including aesthetics, politics, ethics, gender, race and ethnicity, technology, religion, and the media, and has itself a legacy of warranted critical attention.

The idea of “the dark” occupies a particularly critical position within the emerging field of Visual Studies. For this issue we present the question of “the dark” as an analytical tool, a historical concept, and as a limit or end of visual studies itself. The second issue of Octopus invites manuscripts that engage with “the dark” from a wide-range of perspectives. Possible lines of inquiry include but are not limited to:

1) Photography’s light and dark: polychromy, monochromy, being photogenic, the space of the darkroom
2) Cinema’s light and dark: flicker, the space of spectatorship, Noir, horror
3) Darkness and light as absence and presence; invisibility, avisuality, disappearance, negation, blind spots
4) Gender, race, and ethnicity
5) “Intelligence” and its connection to metaphors of “illumination”
6) The politics of “dimness”
7) Philosophy, theosophy, hermeneutics
8) Literature, linguistics
9) Architecture, shadow
10) Material lightness and darkness; technologies of light
11) Military stealth/night vision
12) Self-awareness, epiphanies, criticism
13) Minimalism, Post-Minimalism.
14) Plato’s cave/ shadowplay/ camera obscura/ chiaroscuro
15) Rhetorics of good and evil
16) Aesthetics and spirituality

Deadline for Submissions: April 3, 2006.
Submission Guidelines:
Octopus Journal is a publication of the graduate students in the Program of Visual Studies at the University of California, Irvine.



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