Submit Your Work for Camera Obscura’s 40th Anniversary


For the fortieth anniversary of Camera Obscura, the journal invites submissions on the theme of collectivity.

Collectives often emerge in periods of crisis in response to new social, economic, and technological conditions. Camera Obscura’s feminist editorial collective has functioned in this way since its beginnings in the 1970s, a time when many forms of cooperative action proliferated. In this period, collectives formed around issues of gender, race, and politics, with many organizing around forms of media production. In the last ten to fifteen years, a growing constellation of collectives, many international, has emerged, configuring artists and activists in new political and cultural formations. These collectives are a response to developments like the growing impact of digital media and mobile technologies, new paradigms of relational aesthetics, new configurations of labor and precarity, and the rise of neoliberal policy, which has worked to erode the public sphere and shared resources in favor of the idea of individual responsibility. In contrast, the theory and practice of collectivity emphasize participation, consensus, and working toward common goals. However, as anyone who has been part of a collective knows, these formations are never free of difficulty and disagreement—difficulties that relate to issues of communication as well as to the very dynamics of gender, sexuality, class, race, and multinationalism that demand collective responses. 

Topics might include, but are not limited to:

  • Conceptualizing “collectivity,” “cooperation,” and “commons” 
  • Historically specific investigations of past and still-functioning collectives
  • The affective economies of collectivity
  • The analysis of films, videos, or other media objects produced through collective action or participation
  • The cultural, discursive, and economic structures that underlie and produce collectivity 
  • Collectivity and forms of labor and media
  • The temporality of collectivity
  • Collectivity and utopianism
  • The relationship of technological change to collectivity
  • The relation of collectivity to identity, individuality, and subjectivity
  • Transnational forms of collectivity 
  • Collaboration, microtopias, communities of practice, and the space of the commons
  • Swarms, multitudes, and political uprising
  • Specific dynamics of gender, sexuality, race, and class in collective formations

Camera Obscura welcomes both essay-length submissions and shorter writings appropriate to our “In Practice” section. The deadline for submissions is 15 October 2014.

For more information about submitting your work, click here.

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