CFP: Journal of Curatorial Studies, Issue 12.1 (Spring 2023) – Radical Pedagogy

Photo: TIAMSA/Johannes Nathan

Submissions are invited from scholars, curators, and artists for a special issue of Journal of Curatorial Studies addressing radical pedagogy – that is, how curating is itself a pedagogy that encourages forms of active engagement with exhibitions.

Deadline: 1 Jun 2021

Guest Editors:
Christiana Abraham, Concordia University
Kirsty Robertson, Western University
Sarah E.K. Smith, Carleton University

An important thread of recent curatorial practice has been associated with “the educational turn” and a move to understand museum and gallery spaces as important venues for sharing knowledge. And yet, in the current moment of change and precarity, we suggest that more than ever there is a need for radical forms of pedagogy in the museum field. Radical pedagogy responds to and critiques dominant traditions in curating practice. As a curatorial approach, radical pedagogy embodies an oppositional politic that deliberately intervenes in and disrupts by creatively challenging and responding to mainstream practices. For this special issue, we seek contributions from scholars, curators, and artists that address radical pedagogy – that is, how curating is itself a pedagogy that encourages forms of active engagement with exhibitions.

We are particularly interested in interventionist forms of curating, that purposely use curatorial methodologies to unsettle or challenge institutional norms. How can curation catalyze learning outside of the disciplinary spaces of the university or school (and possibly even outside of the museum and gallery)? How does curating as a methodology encourage new and active forms of connection and education between and across objects, audiences, and communities? Can curating disrupt the production and reproduction of dominant narratives as powerful tools of social knowledge? Can curating as radical education unsettle or challenge the institutional norms of the museum spaces in which it is (often) located? 

Through a global exploration of recent and past curatorial projects, the issue aims to contribute historical and theoretical analyses, and to critically consider personal curatorial experiences and case studies. We invite proposals for a range of submissions including scholarly articles (4-6,000 words) and critical curatorial reflections (3-4,000) that foreground radical and innovative approaches to curating. Projects that speak from grassroots or marginalized perspectives, and that challenge conventional processes and practices of curating and exhibiting are strongly encouraged. We also seek texts that address forms of speaking back that unsettle systems and power relations in the interest of pedagogy. With such approaches in mind, we extend a special invitation to BIPOC curators and scholars working on or around these issues.  Curators working within the areas of dis/ability and accessibility are also encouraged to participate. 

Contributions may explore (but are not limited to) the following topics: 
– radical forms of curating that trouble accepted understandings of space, materiality, artefacts, and display traditions and reimagine the museum, gallery, or archive as a space of pedagogy
– examples of curating with students and/or members of the public, including the co-creation of displays and educational initiatives associated with exhibitions
– perspectives that address critical curating, race and racialization, decolonization and curating, engaged curating, and curating from the margins
– traditional/non-traditional forms of creative and innovative curation that foreground pedagogy and curation in teaching and learning
– curating as a form of pedagogy that takes into consideration dis/ability and accessibility 
– any combination of viewpoints, including those from inside or outside of museums, galleries, universities, classrooms, community, or public spaces

We are particularly keen to highlight experimental and critical perspectives, from both within and outside of traditional institutions.

Send a 250-word abstract and 100-word bio by June 1, 2021 to the guest editors at
Text deadline: April 1, 2022
Article length: 4-6,000 words
Curatorial Reflection length: 3-4,000 words
Other forms of creative responses may also be considered.
Publication date: Spring 2023

The Journal of Curatorial Studies is an international, peer-reviewed publication that explores the cultural functioning of curating and its relation to exhibitions, institutions, audiences, aesthetics and display culture. As a critical and responsive forum for debate in the emerging field of curatorial studies, the journal fosters scholarship in the theory, practice and history of curating, as well as that of exhibitions and display culture in general. The Journal of Curatorial Studies is published by Intellect and can be found on Facebook.