CFP: Copyright and Creative Practice (Special Issue of ‘American Art‘, 2023)

American Art, the peer-reviewed journal co-published by the Smithsonian American Art Museum and the University of Chicago Press, seeks papers that explore the intersection of how matters related to copyright, or intellectual property more broadly, have been interrogated or otherwise problematized through the creative practices of American artists or artists active within the borders of the United States both historically and in the contemporary era.

Deadline: 1 Jun 2022

While U.S. copyright has evolved since the time of the nation’s founding, numerous artists have toyed with its conventions through various modes of appropriation or institutional critique, often drawing attention to questions concerning originality and reproduction, and the creative adaption and transformation of underlying sources.
Copyright law itself has evolved to reflect shifting perceptions of what forms of creative expression deserve protections, as well as reflecting the challenges inherent in addressing new reproductive media, such as photography. In the digital era, new questions may emerge about what aspects of creative practice can be copyrighted, or those that may defy it. We seek to interpret the subject of copyright—and the notion of intellectual property—broadly in this context, inviting reflection and critique. We are open to papers exploring a range of historic periods, and invite contributions by artists, art historians, cultural historians, legal specialists, and others working on philosophical questions related to copyright as well as the larger context of intellectual property.  

Please submit manuscripts of 1,500 to 2000 words (including notes) with 3—5 images, to by June 1, 2022. For guidelines on eligibility and standards for evaluation, see

The organizers, Anne Collins Goodyear, Co-Director, Bowdoin College Museum of Art, and Robin Veder, executive editor of American Art, will work with outside reviewers to facilitate double-blind reviews and to select essays for publication in 2023. Accepted manuscripts will be further workshopped with authors.

Please send pre-submission inquiries to