31 January 2020


Opportunity Description

Call for papers for a themed component of de arte titled Speaking with ghosts:
Hauntology, memory, nostalgia and other ways of engaging with past/present/future

We are pleased to announce this call for papers for a themed component of de arte, titled Speaking with ghosts: Hauntology, memory, nostalgia and other ways of engaging with past/present/future that draws on the issues explored at the 34th Annual SAVAH CONFERENCE, hosted by The Faculty of Informatics and Design, Cape Peninsula University of Technology. Speaking with ghosts: Hauntology, memory, nostalgia and other ways of engaging with past/present/future.

Hauntology is a composite of ‘haunting’ and ‘ontology’ proposed by Jacques Derrida (1993) as a way of thinking about the presence of absent figures, which haunt the world in an ambiguous state of being neither alive nor dead. To use the metaphor of haunting conjures ghosts and specters, tangible but not entirely whole or extant beings, inherited from the past and discernible in the present. The ‘ghost’ therefore inhabits a disjointed time-space in which ‘anything is possible’ as the past and present co-exist on a transitory plane.

As a theme in critical theory, hauntology turns to the past in order to make sense of the present, to understand how we got to this place and to consider what’s to come. To speak with ghosts, as Karen Barad (2010: 264) 1 suggests, is not a project of reconstruction, but a means: to acknowledge and be responsive to the non-contemporaneity of the present, to put oneself at risk, to risk oneself (which is never one or self), to open oneself up to indeterminacy in moving towards what is to come.

We propose this theme as a productive framework for addressing the challenges of working with what we inherit, and for dealing with contemporary concerns around existence in transition. We invite scholars to critically engage with aspects of past and present, the notion of Hauntology, memory, nostalgia and related concepts in the visual domain, including visual art, archeology, architecture, design, and photography.

Any questions to do with this call for papers can be sent to Nike Romano (Romanon@cput.ac.za) and Alison Kearney (Alison.kearney@wits.ac.za)

Authors whose research does not engage with the above-mentioned theme are welcome to submit articles for consideration for publication in de arte.

Aims and scope

  • de arte is an international peer-reviewed journal offering a distinctive, integrated forum for original research in the visual arts, art history, art criticism, visual culture and related disciplines. The primary focus is on South Africa, Africa and the Global South, where arts and culture have had an instrumental role in forging identities and post-colonial realities. The journal aims to be representative of a variety of viewpoints and emphasises an interdisciplinary approach, cognisant of the value of a dynamic interface between the visual arts and other fields including philosophy, politics, history, religion, and literature. It further seeks to provide a platform for under-represented African visual arts and art criticism on the global stage.
  • In addition to original scholarly research, de arte invites critical reviews of books focused on the above- mentioned scope. We welcome contributions from established and emerging scholars, and we are open to proposals for Themed Issues guest-edited by leading scholars in relevant fields.


  • Estelle McDowall, University of South Africa

Editorial Board

  • Alison Kearney, University of Witwatersrand
  • Jenni Lauwrens, University of Pretoria
  • Nomusa Makhubu, University of Cape Town
  • Pfunzo Sidogi, Tshwane University of Technology
  • Leana van der Merwe, University of South Africa
  • Jeanne van Eeden, University of Pretoria
  • Karen von Veh, University of Johannesburg

Journal information
Print ISSN: 0004-3389 Online ISSN: 2471-4100; 3 issues per year. Co-published by Taylor&Francis and Unisa Press.

Instructions for authors
de arte use Editorial Manager to peer review manuscript submissions. Please go to www.edmgr.com and read the guidelines for authors before making a submission. If you have not submitted a paper to this journal before, you will need to create an account in the submission centre. Submit your article in the relevant Author Centre where you will find user guides and a helpdesk.

Authors should confirm that their article is original work, does not violate any contractual agreement and is not under consideration for publication elsewhere.

A structured abstract of 250 words in length, covering the main factual points and statements of objective or problem, method, results and conclusions, should accompany the article plus a list of between six and ten keywords for abstracting and indexing services. Please supply a title page with short biographical details of each author as well as the name, affiliation and country of each corresponding author at the time of the work.

Articles should be between 6 000 and 10 000 words.
Style Guide: Chicago Manual of Style, Author-Date de arte uses the Chicago Manual of Style, 17th ed., author-date ( http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/). The journal encourages the use of reference managers such as RefWorks, EndNote, Zotero and Mendeley.

Any queries can be sent to the Editor, Estelle McDowall (mcdowe@unisa.ac.za).

How to Apply

We invite papers of 5000- 8000 words that engage with the theme to be submitted for
consideration for publication in de arte via Editorial Manager at www.editorialmanager.com by
31 January 2020. All submissions will be subject to a double-blind peer review.