Telling Secrets
History of Art and Architecture, Boston University
Deadline: 
Friday, January 12, 2024
Review Begins: 
Friday, January 12, 2024

SEQUITUR Issue 10.2
Spring 2024
https://www.bu.edu/sequitur
CFP: Telling Secrets
Deadline: January 12, 2024

The editors of SEQUITUR, a graduate student journal published by the Department of History of Art & Architecture at Boston University, invite current and recent MA, MFA, and PhD students to submit content on the theme of “Telling Secrets” for our Spring 2024 issue.

In All About Love (2000), social theorist bell hooks writes that “keeping secrets is usually about power, about hiding and concealing information.” She describes how our social culture of dishonesty reproduces systems of power and creates distance between people. Telling secrets, however, “can protect us” and allow us to create stronger and more just communities.

From x-ray technology which reveals the “secrets” hidden in art to public writing on the “secrets” of art-making, concealment and its revelations play an unavoidable role in our work as scholars, artists, and art historians. We act as detectives when we research: combing through archival and curatorial records, looking at art objects, and theorizing about the world and our histories. When we publish our findings, we allow these secrets—whether intentionally or  accidentally hidden—to have a scholarly voice and be rediscovered by new audiences. 

In some cases, secrets are a result of intentional concealment by people in power who feel they have something to lose by being honest, so they take action to neglect, obscure, and suppress. Other secrets are created by people hiding something about themselves: keeping their ideas, identities, and art safe through acts of double-coding, disguise, and camouflage. Alternative forms of knowledge provide community cohesion and agency to those outside the bounds of normative society through arcane practices, spirituality and mysticism, and the occult. Materials like earth, paint, and dust can hold secrets, discovered through archaeology, conservation, and ever-evolving modes of scientific analysis.

The work of uncovering these secrets requires that we first notice an absence, a mask, or an erasure. How do we tell these secrets? And what happens when we do? Why does it matter that we seek out the secrets of the past and present and speak them?

For this issue of SEQUITUR, we seek emerging scholarship that engages with this theme of “telling secrets” in art, architecture, and material culture from antiquity to the contemporary period.

Possible subjects include but are not limited to:

  • Ways of knowing, the occult, spiritual and non-traditional knowledge

  • Obtaining knowledge, espionage, voyeurism

  • Truthfulness and lies, intentional and unintentional dishonesty

  • Acts of concealment, archival absence, inclusion and exclusion

  • Artificiality, disguises, camouflage, trompe l’oeil, trickery

  • Hiding places, cloisters, shadows, obfuscation and censorship

  • Modes of storytelling, myth-making, keepsakes, memorabilia

  • Making noise: sound art, video art, installation art, performance art

  • Repair work, repatriation and reconciliation, mobilization, revolution

  • Interpersonal relationships, community-building, confidence, betrayals

SEQUITUR welcomes submissions from graduate students in the disciplines of art history, architecture, archaeology, material culture, visual culture, literary studies, queer and gender studies, disability studies, memory studies, and environmental studies, among others. We encourage submissions that take advantage of the digital format of the journal. 

Founded in 2014, SEQUITUR is an online biannual scholarly journal dedicated to addressing events, issues, and ideas in art and architectural history. SEQUITUR, edited by graduate students at Boston University, engages with and expands current conversations in the field by promoting the perspectives of graduate students from around the world. It seeks to contribute to existing scholarship by focusing on valuable but often overlooked parts of art and architectural history.

Previous issues of SEQUITUR can be found here.

We invite full submissions in the following categories. Please submit your material in full for consideration in the publication:

  • Feature essays (1,500 words)

  • Visual and creative essays (250 words, up to 10 works

We invite proposals for the following categories. Please write an abstract of no more than 200 words outlining your intended project:

  • Exhibition reviews (500 words)

  • Book or exhibition catalog reviews (500 words

  • Interviews (750 words)

  • Research spotlights (750 words)

To submit: Email all material to sequitur@bu.edu

Include in the email:

  • Your proposal or submission,

  • A recent CV, 

  • A brief 50-word bio,

  • Your contact information in the body of the email: name, institution and program, year in program, and email,

  • “SEQUITUR Spring 2024” and the type of submission/proposal as the subject line.

Authors will be notified of the acceptance of their submission or proposal the week of January 15, 2024 for publication in May 2024. 

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact the SEQUITUR editors at sequitur@bu.edu.

Job, fellowship, and CFP listings are services that are offered by the American Studies Association to support its members in exploring professional opportunities in American studies. Any questions should be directed to the program, department, or center that has posted the opportunity.