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Journal of Visual Culture

Journal of Visual Culture

eISSN: 17412994 | ISSN: 14704129 | Current volume: 22 | Current issue: 2 Frequency: 3 Times/Year

Journal of Visual Culture is an international refereed journal that welcomes compelling, critically engaged contributions that explore and expand trans-disciplinary global visual cultures.

"The Journal of Visual Culture is indispensable." Professor Christine Ross, Department of Art History and Communication Studies, McGill University

"There is an unmistakable seriousness as well as a handsome hospitality in the range of method, topic and topography on show." Times Higher Education Supplement

"The Journal of Visual Culture continues to be a critical resource for scholars looking for intelligent analyses of the visual arts, popular culture, media, curatorial practice and digital platforms." Professor Jennifer A Gonzalez, University of California, Santa Cruz

"The Journal of Visual Culture is the place to look for cutting-edge research on the theory, practice, and circulation of visual culture today." Dr Nicole Starosielski, Department of Media, Culture, and Communication, New York University

"The Journal of Visual Culture is a generous and inventive site of intellectual possibility where authors and guest editors can reconfigure how the visual and cultural come together, allowing for intellectual challenges to be made – critically and imaginatively – to current disciplinary protocols." Professor Jane Rendell, The Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL

Recent themed issues include:

Armed/Unarmed: Guns in American Visual and Material Culture (2018), guest edited by Faye Gleisser and Delia Solomons, with contributors including Patrice D. Douglass, Michelle Millar Fisher, Colette Galter, Brian Hatton, Lindsay Livingston, and a roundtable with Attequa Ali, Jonathan Ferrara, Kathy O’Dell, and Susanne Slavick.

Affect at the Limits of Photography (2018), guest edited by Lisa Cartwright and Elizabeth Wolfson, with contributors including Ariella Azoulay, Lisa E. Bloom, Matthew Brower, Thy Phu and Elspeth H Brown, Kelli Moore, and Shaw Michelle Smith.

50 Years of Art and Objecthood: Traces, Impact, Critique (2017), edited by Alison Green and Joanne Morra, with contributors Alison Green, Stephen Melville, Joanne Morra, Daniel Rubinstein, Margarita Tupitsyn, Victor Tupitsyn, Phoebe von Held, Duncan White.

Architecture! (2016), edited by Jae Emerling and Ronna Gardner, with contributors Eric Aliez, Alfredo Brillembourg, Sarah Deyong, Alexi Kalagas, Hubert Klumpner, Robin Mackay, Lina Malfona, Gioancarlo Mazzanti, Robert McCarter, Donald Preziosi, Jane Rendell, Martino Stierli, Michael Waldrep.

Visual Activism (2016), edited by Julia Bryan-Wilson, Jennifer González and Dominic Willsdon, with contributors Ariella Azoulay, Macarena Gómez-Barris, Deena Chalabi, Electronic Disturbance Theater 2.0, Miguel A López, Amin Husain, Nicholas Mirzoeff, Nitasha Dhillon, A Joan Saab, Tina Takemoto, Avram Finkelstein, Aaron Gach, Cheyanne Epps, Kyle Lane-McKinley, Elisa Adami, TJ Demos, Amy Lyford, Carlos Motta, Trinh T Minh-ha, Srinivas Aditya Mopidevi, Jerome Reyes, Nine Yamamoto-Masson, Teddy Cruz, Favianna Rodriguez, Zanele Muholi, Selaelo Mannya, Valerie Thomas, Shannon Jackson.

Recent and forthcoming contributions to Journal of Visual Culture include:

  • Jill Casid (UWM) on being undone
  • Georges Didi-Huberman (Paris) on the album of images
  • Tom Holert (Berlin) on immersion
  • Tung-Hui Hu (Michigan) on reticence
  • Esther Leslie (Birkbeck) on atmosphere
  • Rahul Mukherjee (UPenn) on ecologies of ruination
  • MIT’s Lisa Parks (interview by Asbjørn Grønstad and Øyvind Vågnes) on global media technologies
  • Nicole Starosielski (NYU) on thermal vision
  • Magda Szczesniak and Lukasz Zaremba (Warsaw) on paranoid looking
  • Linda Williams (Berkley) on lust, motion and e-motion
  • Beirut-based artist Akram Zaatari (interviewed by Elisa Adami) on history, photography, and the archive

Forthcoming themed issues for 2020 and beyond include:

Robot Vision, guest edited by Luci Eldridge (Winchester School of Art) and Nina Trivedi (Royal College of Art), with contributors including Jeremiah Ambrose, Brian Black, Stephen Ellis, Nea Ehrlich, Joey Holder, Gregory Minissale, Maya Oppenheimer, Nicola Plant, and Bianca Westermann.

Trans, Art, and Visual Culture, guest edited by Cyle Metzger (Stanford) and Kirstin Ringelberg (Elon University), with contributors including KJ Cerankowski, Kara Carmack, Sascha Crasnow, Sebastian De Line, Robb Hernandez, Heather Holmes, Ace Lehner, KJ Rawson and Nikki Tantum, Cole Rizki, Gregory Stamatina, Chris Straayer, Susan Stryker, Elisa Steinbock, and Frial Zachary.

VR: Immersion and Empathy, guest edited by Brooke Belisle (Stony Brook University) and Paul Roquet (MIT).

Journal of Visual Culture welcomes provocative, innovative analyses of visual culture especially those that challenge conventional categories or modes of inquiry. To address the broad interests of our readers, the Journal supports critically informed, original interpretations that both illuminate a specific phenomenon, and yield insights for social, political, philosophical or aesthetic concerns shaping global visual cultures

Marquard Smith UCL, UK / Vilnius Academy of Arts, Lithuania
Kimberly J. Brown Dartmouth College, USA
Eray Çayli Universität Hamburg, Germany
Zeina E. Maasri University of Bristol, UK
Minou Norouzi University of Helsinki, Finland
Erika Jiaran Song Fosun Foundation, Shanghai, China/UCL, London, UK
Hanan Toukan Bard College Berlin, Germany
Themed Issue Editor
Øyvind Vågnes University of Bergen, Norway
Reviews Editor
Jae Emerling The University of North Carolina at Charlotte, USA
Managing Editor
Manca Bajec Goldsmiths College, University of London, UK
Editorial Board
John Armitage Winchester School of Art, University of Southampton, UK
Mieke Bal University of Amsterdam, Netherlands
Weihong Bao University of California, USA
Joaquin Barriendos Columbia University, USA
Ali Behdad UCLA, USA
Brooke Belisle Stony Brook University, USA
Simone A. Brown University of Texas at Austin, USA
Giuliana Bruno Harvard University, USA
Susan Buck-Morss Cornell University, USA
Tina M. Campt Columbia University, USA
Lisa Cartwright University of California, San Diego, USA
Jill Casid University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA
Mel Y Chen University of California, Berkeley, USA
Wendy Hui Kyong Chun Simon Fraser University, Canada
Tom Conley Harvard University, USA
David Cunningham University of Westminster
Karen Mary Davalos University of Minnesota, USA
Abigail DeKosnik University of California, Berkeley, USA
Anna Everett University of California, Santa Barbara, USA
Nicole Fleetwood Rutgers University, USA
Elizabeth Freeman UC Davis, USA
Anne Friedberg University of Southern California, USA †
Johnny Golding Royal College of Art, UK
Macarena Gómez-Barris Pratt Institute, USA
Jack Halberstam Columbia University, USA
Stuart Hall University of Birmingham, UK †
Martin Jay University of California, Berkeley, USA
Guy Julier Aalto University, Finland
Max Liljefors Lund University, Sweden
Laura U. Marks Simon Fraser University, Canada
Shannon Mattern The New School, USA
W J T Mitchell University of Chicago, USA
Joanne Morra Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design, University of the Arts London, UK
Joanne Morra University of the Arts, UK
Meaghan Morris University of Sydney, Australia
Sheila Murphy University of Michigan, USA
Lisa Nakamura University of Michigan, USA
Simon Ofield-Kerr Norwich University of the Arts, UK
Chika Okeke-Agulu Princeton University, USA
Peggy Phelan Stanford University, USA
Beth Piatote University of California, Berkeley, USA
Griselda Pollock University of Leeds, UK
Jasbir Puar Rutgers University, USA
Adrian Rifkin Central Saint Martins, University of the Arts London, UK
Dylan Robinson Queen's University, Canada
Irit Rogoff Goldsmiths, University of London, UK
Vanessa Ruth Schwartz University of Southern California, USA
Julietta Singh University of Richmond, USA
Shawn Michelle Smith School of the Art Institute of Chicago, USA
Vivian Sobchack University of California Los Angeles, USA
Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak Professor, Columbia University, USA
Jonathon Sterne McGill University, Canada
Sasha Su-Ling Welland University of Washington, USA
Dominic Willsdon Institute for Contemporary Art, Richmond Virginia, USA
  • ARTbibliographies Modern
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  • Arts & Humanities Citation Index
  • Bibliography of the History of Art (BHA)
  • British Humanities Index
  • Bulletin Signaletique
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  • Clarivate Analytics: Current Contents - Social & Behavioral Sciences
  • Communication & Mass Media Complete
  • Communication Abstracts
  • Current Contents/ Arts & Humanities
  • Expanded Academic Index
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  • International Bibliography of the Social Sciences
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  • Manuscript Submission Guidelines: Journal of Visual Culture

    Please read the guidelines below then visit the Journal’s submission site to upload your manuscript. Please note that manuscripts not conforming to these guidelines may be returned.

    Only manuscripts of sufficient quality that meet the aims and scope of journal of visual culture will be reviewed.

    There are no fees payable to submit or publish in this Journal. Open Access options are available - see section 3.3 below.

    As part of the submission process you will be required to warrant that you are submitting your original work, that you have the rights in the work, that you are submitting the work for first publication in the Journal and that it is not being considered for publication elsewhere and has not already been published elsewhere, and that you have obtained and can supply all necessary permissions for the reproduction of any copyright works not owned by you.

    1. What do we publish?
      1.1 Aims & Scope
      1.2 Article types
      1.3 Writing your paper
    2. Editorial policies
      2.1 Peer review policy
      2.2 Authorship
      2.3 Acknowledgements
      2.4 Funding
      2.5 Declaration of conflicting interests
    3. Publishing policies
      3.1 Publication ethics
      3.2 Contributor's publishing agreement
      3.3 Open access and author archiving
    4. Preparing your manuscript
      4.1 Formatting
      4.2 Artwork, figures and other graphics
      4.3 Supplementary material
      4.4 Journal Style
      4.5 Reference style
      4.6 English language editing services
    5. Submitting your manuscript
      5.1 ORCID
      5.2 Information required for completing your submission
      5.3 Permissions
    6. On acceptance and publication
      6.1 Sage Production
      6.2 Online First publication
      6.3 Access to your published article
      6.4 Promoting your article
    7. Further information


    1. What do we publish?

    1.1 Aims & Scope

    Before submitting your manuscript to Journal of Visual Culture, please ensure you have read the Aims & Scope.

    1.2 Article Types

    journal of visual culture publishes original articles relevant to the aims and scope.

    The word count for the entire manuscript - including texts, quotes, notes, references and bibliography - should fall between 5000 and 8000 words.

    The journal also includes a section in which books and other significant contributions to the field are reviewed. This includes both essay length and shorter contributions.

    1.3 Writing your paper

    The Sage Author Gateway has some general advice and on how to get published, plus links to further resources. Sage Author Services also offers authors a variety of ways to improve and enhance their article including English language editing, plagiarism detection, and video abstract and infographic preparation.

    1.3.1 Make your article discoverable

    When writing up your paper, think about how you can make it discoverable. The title, keywords and abstract are key to ensuring readers find your article through search engines such as Google. For information and guidance on how best to title your article, write your abstract and select your keywords, have a look at this page on the Gateway: How to Help Readers Find Your Article Online.

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    2. Editorial policies

    2.1 Peer review policy

    Sage does not permit the use of author-suggested (recommended) reviewers at any stage of the submission process, be that through the web-based submission system or other communication. Reviewers should be experts in their fields and should be able to provide an objective assessment of the manuscript. Our policy is that reviewers should not be assigned to a paper if:

    •  The reviewer is based at the same institution as any of the co-authors

    •  The reviewer is based at the funding body of the paper

    •  The author has recommended the reviewer

    •  The reviewer has provided a personal (e.g. Gmail/Yahoo/Hotmail) email account and an institutional email account cannot be found after performing a basic Google search (name, department and institution). 

    2.2 Authorship

    All parties who have made a substantive contribution to the article should be listed as authors. Principal authorship, authorship order, and other publication credits should be based on the relative scientific or professional contributions of the individuals involved, regardless of their status. A student is usually listed as principal author on any multiple-authored publication that substantially derives from the student’s dissertation or thesis.

    Please note that AI chatbots, for example ChatGPT, should not be listed as authors. For more information see the policy on Use of ChatGPT and generative AI tools.

    2.3 Acknowledgements

    All contributors who do not meet the criteria for authorship should be listed in an Acknowledgements section. Examples of those who might be acknowledged include a person who provided purely technical help, or a department chair who provided only general support.

    Any acknowledgements should appear first at the end of your article prior to your Declaration of Conflicting Interests (if applicable), any notes and your References.

    2.3.1 Third party submissions

    Where an individual who is not listed as an author submits a manuscript on behalf of the author(s), a statement must be included in the Acknowledgements section of the manuscript and in the accompanying cover letter. The statements must:

    • Disclose this type of editorial assistance – including the individual’s name, company and level of input
    • Identify any entities that paid for this assistance
    • Confirm that the listed authors have authorized the submission of their manuscript via third party and approved any statements or declarations, e.g. conflicting interests, funding, etc.

    Where appropriate, Sage reserves the right to deny consideration to manuscripts submitted by a third party rather than by the authors themselves.

    2.3.2 Writing assistance

    Individuals who provided writing assistance, e.g. from a specialist communications company, do not qualify as authors and so should be included in the Acknowledgements section. Authors must disclose any writing assistance – including the individual’s name, company and level of input – and identify the entity that paid for this assistance. It is not necessary to disclose use of language polishing services.

    2.4 Funding

    Journal of visual culture requires all authors to acknowledge their funding in a consistent fashion under a separate heading.  Please visit the Funding Acknowledgements page on the Sage Journal Author Gateway to confirm the format of the acknowledgment text in the event of funding, or state that: This research received no specific grant from any funding agency in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sectors.

    2.5 Declaration of conflicting interests

    Journal of visual culture encourages authors to include a declaration of any conflicting interests and recommends you review the good practice guidelines on the Sage Journal Author Gateway.

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    3. Publishing Policies

    3.1 Publication ethics

    Sage is committed to upholding the integrity of the academic record. We encourage authors to refer to the Committee on Publication Ethics’ International Standards for Authors and view the Publication Ethics page on the Sage Author Gateway.

    3.1.1 Plagiarism

    Journal of visual culture and Sage take issues of copyright infringement, plagiarism or other breaches of best practice in publication very seriously. We seek to protect the rights of our authors and we always investigate claims of plagiarism or misuse of published articles. Equally, we seek to protect the reputation of the journal against malpractice. Submitted articles may be checked with duplication-checking software. Where an article, for example, is found to have plagiarised other work or included third-party copyright material without permission or with insufficient acknowledgement, or where the authorship of the article is contested, we reserve the right to take action including, but not limited to: publishing an erratum or corrigendum (correction); retracting the article; taking up the matter with the head of department or dean of the author's institution and/or relevant academic bodies or societies; or taking appropriate legal action.

    3.1.2 Prior publication

    If material has been previously published it is not generally acceptable for publication in a Sage journal. However, there are certain circumstances where previously published material can be considered for publication. Please refer to the guidance on the Sage Author Gateway or if in doubt, contact the Editor at the address given below.

    3.2 Contributor's publishing agreement

    Before publication, Sage requires the author as the rights holder to sign a Journal Contributor’s Publishing Agreement. Sage’s Journal Contributor’s Publishing Agreement is an exclusive licence agreement which means that the author retains copyright in the work but grants Sage the sole and exclusive right and licence to publish for the full legal term of copyright. Exceptions may exist where an assignment of copyright is required or preferred by a proprietor other than Sage. In this case copyright in the work will be assigned from the author to the society. For more information please visit the Sage Author Gateway.

    3.3 Open access and author archiving

    Journal of Visual Culture offers optional open access publishing via the Sage Choice programme and Open Access agreements, where authors can publish open access either discounted or free of charge depending on the agreement with Sage. Find out if your institution is participating by visiting Open Access Agreements at Sage. For more information on Open Access publishing options at Sage please visit Sage Open Access. For information on funding body compliance, and depositing your article in repositories, please visit Sage’s Author Archiving and Re-Use Guidelines and Publishing Policies.

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    4. Preparing your manuscript for submission

    4.1 Formatting

    The preferred format for your manuscript is Word. LaTeX files are also accepted. Word and (La)Tex templates are available on the Manuscript Submission Guidelines page of our Author Gateway.

    The text should be double-spaced throughout, left justified with standard margins. Please use Times New Roman, 12 pt font. The manuscript should include a title, keywords and abstract, which are key to ensuring readers find your article online through online search engines such as Google. Abstracts should be 100-150 words in length, and authors should list 5-8 keywords. Any headings/subheads should be consistently signaled with italics or underlines.

    4.2 Artwork, figures and other graphics

    For guidance on the preparation of illustrations, pictures and graphs in electronic format, please visit Sage’s Manuscript Submission Guidelines  

    Figures supplied in colour will appear in colour online regardless of whether or not these illustrations are reproduced in colour in the printed version. For specifically requested colour reproduction in print, you will receive information regarding the costs from Sage after receipt of your accepted article.

    4.3 Supplementary material

    This journal is able to host additional materials online (e.g. datasets, podcasts, videos, images etc) alongside the full-text of the article. For more information please refer to our guidelines on submitting supplementary files.

    4.4 Journal Style

    Use a clear readable style, avoiding jargon. If technical terms or acronyms must be included, define them when first used. Use non-racist, non-sexist language and plurals rather than he/she.

    Spellings: UK or US spellings may be used with '-ize' spellings as given in the Oxford English Dictionary (e.g. organize, recognize).

    Punctuation: use single quotation marks with double quotes inside single quotes. Present dates in the form 1 May 1998. Do not use points in abbreviations, contractions or acronyms (e.g. AD, USA, Dr, PhD).

    4.5 Reference style

    Journal of visual culture adheres to the Sage Harvard reference style. View the Sage Harvard guidelines to ensure your manuscript conforms to this reference style.

    If you use EndNote to manage references, you can download the Sage Harvard EndNote output file.

    4.6 English language editing services

    Authors seeking assistance with English language editing, translation, or figure and manuscript formatting to fit the journal’s specifications should consider using Sage Language Services. Visit Sage Language Services on our Journal Author Gateway for further information.

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    5. Submitting your manuscript

    Before submitting your manuscript, please ensure you carefully read and adhere to all the guidelines and instructions to authors provided below. Manuscripts not conforming to these guidelines may be returned. For answers to frequently asked questions regarding submissions, please see

    Journal of visual culture is hosted on Sage Track, a web based online submission and peer review system powered by ScholarOne™ Manuscripts. Visit to login and submit your article online.

    IMPORTANT: Please check whether you already have an account in the system before trying to create a new one. If you have reviewed or authored for the journal in the past year it is likely that you will have had an account created.  For further guidance on submitting your manuscript online please visit ScholarOne Online Help.

    Guidelines for submitting or inquiring about book reviews can be found at

    5.1 ORCID

    As part of our commitment to ensuring an ethical, transparent and fair peer review process Sage is a supporting member of ORCID, the Open Researcher and Contributor ID. ORCID provides a unique and persistent digital identifier that distinguishes researchers from every other researcher, even those who share the same name, and, through integration in key research workflows such as manuscript and grant submission, supports automated linkages between researchers and their professional activities, ensuring that their work is recognized.

    The collection of ORCID iDs from corresponding authors is now part of the submission process of this journal. If you already have an ORCID iD you will be asked to associate that to your submission during the online submission process. We also strongly encourage all co-authors to link their ORCID ID to their accounts in our online peer review platforms. It takes seconds to do: click the link when prompted, sign into your ORCID account and our systems are automatically updated. Your ORCID iD will become part of your accepted publication’s metadata, making your work attributable to you and only you. Your ORCID iD is published with your article so that fellow researchers reading your work can link to your ORCID profile and from there link to your other publications.

    If you do not already have an ORCID iD please follow this link to create one or visit our ORCID homepage to learn more.

    5.2 Information required for completing your submission

    You will be asked to provide contact details and academic affiliations for all co-authors via the submission system and identify who is to be the corresponding author. These details must match what appears on your manuscript. At this stage please ensure you have included all the required statements and declarations and uploaded any additional supplementary files (including reporting guidelines where relevant).

    5.3 Permissions

    Please also ensure that you have obtained any necessary permission from copyright holders for reproducing any illustrations, tables, figures or lengthy quotations previously published elsewhere. For further information including guidance on fair dealing for criticism and review, please see the Copyright and Permissions page on the Sage Author Gateway.

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    6. On acceptance and publication

    6.1 Sage Production

    Your Sage Production Editor will keep you informed as to your article’s progress throughout the production process. Proofs will be sent by PDF to the corresponding author and should be returned promptly.  Authors are reminded to check their proofs carefully to confirm that all author information, including names, affiliations, sequence and contact details are correct, and that Funding and Conflict of Interest statements, if any, are accurate.

    6.2 Online First publication

    Online First allows final articles (completed and approved articles awaiting assignment to a future issue) to be published online prior to their inclusion in a journal issue, which significantly reduces the lead time between submission and publication. Visit the Sage Journals help page for more details, including how to cite Online First articles.

    6.3 Access to your published article

    Sage provides authors with online access to their final article.

    6.4 Promoting your article

    Publication is not the end of the process! You can help disseminate your paper and ensure it is as widely read and cited as possible. The Sage Author Gateway has numerous resources to help you promote your work. Visit the Promote Your Article page on the Gateway for tips and advice.

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    7. Further information

    Any correspondence, queries or additional requests for information on the manuscript submission process should be sent to the journal of visual culture editorial office as follows:

    Individual Subscription, Print Only

    Institutional Subscription, E-access

    Institutional Subscription, Print Only

    Institutional Subscription, Combined (Print & E-access)

    Individual, Single Print Issue

    Institutional, Single Print Issue