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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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