Current Call For Content

Volume 5 “Sensing Place”

Deadline: 28 February 2022

This volume of Refract invites articles and other media that explore, expand on, and trouble the intersections of ritual, place, and the sensorium. We ask: What constitutes ritual and how does it relate to time, place, and the senses? How do rituals help organize our world(s) and define our senses of place? In what ways do rituals reify power, resist structures of oppression, or construct senses of identity? In this volume we seek to expand the boundaries of the historic interpretation of ritual to consider topics such as: the visual and sensory aspects of daily life that are exalted through routine; how we mark time through repeated celebrations; or the quotidian experiences of sitting together in classrooms or sharing meals. An expansive definition of ritual in terms of place-making and the sensorium includes everyday practices like religious ceremonies, rites of passage, modes of governance and policy-making, and so much more. Although Refract is a visual studies journal, we welcome proposals that go beyond the visual to discuss holistic sensory experiences such as odors, acoustics, tastes, and light. Submissions could also discuss community participation, processions, parties, social gatherings, holidays—–anything that looks at our connections to specific places and the somatic experiences that mark them.

Topics can include but are not limited to:

  • Violence, trauma, pain, protest, erasure
  • Performed rituals and their afterlives
  • Ephemerality, temporality, chronology
  • Somaesthetics
  • The alimentary and nourishment
  • Pilgrimage, procession, ceremony
  • Medicinal practice
  • “Witchcraft” or brujería 
  • (dis)ability
  • Selfcare, burnout culture, maintenance
  • Renovation, repair
  • Museums, display, spectacle
  • Fertility practices, kinship
  • Colonization, empire, resistance

We welcome contributions from graduate students, artists, faculty, and independent scholars across the humanities, including but not limited to visual studies, art history, anthropology, literature, and history. Although Refract primarily publishes in English, we invite submissions in other languages. In addition, we encourage media submissions such as film, photography, and audio, as well as collaborations that address the theme. 

Please complete this submission form with full-length submissions (up to 10,000 words), an abstract, a bio, and 5 keywords by Monday, February 28, 2022. For submission guidelines, please visit the submission guidelines page. For additional questions, please contact refractjournal@ucsc.edu.