Call For Papers: Shift: Graduate Journal of Visual and Material Culture, Issue 11


Please note that the deadline for submissions has been extended to April 15, 2018.

Oppositional claims to land, heritage, and state have rapidly crescendoed in the last year of the Trumpian order. White supremacist overtures emerged last summer in Charlottesville with chants of “Blood and Soil,” the infamous Nazi slogan advocating racial purity located in the earth of the homeland. At the same time, political activists and environmentalists have made inherently anti-fascist counter-claims to land and ancestry, such as the Indigenous activists who opposed the Dakota Access Pipeline at Standing Rock and critiqued “Muslim ban” travel restrictions with the phrase “No Ban on Stolen Land.” Leftist intellectuals have also sought to deploy protests towards collective, and problematically assimilationist, approaches to environmental stewardship. While such thinkers approach the Earth’s maintenance in terms of the commons, techno-capitalist oligarchs are poised to abandon the planet to the forces of material extraction as they look to the oceans (as in “Seasteaders” seeking to colonize special economic zones), or to outer space (as in Elon Musk’s spectacularized extraterrestrial pollution with branded explorations into commercial space travel).

Fascist and anti-fascist positions are thus coming to face each other via a politics of blood and soil, intimately linked by oppositional claims to and identifications with (the) E/earth. As precarity subtends the political spectrum, identification with soil, land, and place imbricates those who both espouse and resist hateful nationalisms in defense or protest of capitalist industry. Such ideologies are used to define borders and assert control over the movement of bodies, thus making it increasingly urgent to ask if language separating the Global North and South is still useful, or if there is greater need to identify how different centers and communities are positioned in this contest over bloodlines, labor, and the natural world.

This special issue of Shift, BLOOD AND EARTH AND SOIL, seeks to take a broad view of the interaction and interrelation of these topics as they have been expressed in visual and material culture across time. We accept papers, as well as exhibition and book reviews from a range of visually-oriented disciplines that explore such issues/topics as:

  • Visualizing human activity and the environment
  • Sovereignty, land, and public monument
  • Geontologies and geopower
  • Heritage, genetics, and ancestry as method
  • Architectures of migration and immigration
  • Economics/politics of environmentalism
  • Future colonialisms and frontiers


All submissions should be sent by email to by April 15, 2018. Issue 11 will launch in Fall 2018, and contributors will be invited to participate in the Shift conference in Spring 2019.

Academic articles should be approximately 3000 to 6000 words; reviews of books/exhibitions should be approximately 1000 words.

Style Guidelines:

Please read the following points carefully before submitting to Shift. Submissions that do not follow these regulations will not be considered for publication.

  • Authors must be registered as graduate students at the time they submit their work.
  • All reviews must conform to the style guidelines as outlined in The Chicago Manual of Style, 15th or newer edition.
  • Images should be placed in-text throughout the document, not located together at the end. All images and figures should be properly captioned according to The Chicago Manual of Style, 15th or newer edition. Authors are responsible for securing rights to all images and figures used within their paper. Authors must produce evidence that these rights have been obtained before an image or figure will be published.
  • In order to ensure blind readings from the Editorial Committee, please remove all references to your identity as author(s) from the main text and footnotes. Submissions should include the title of the paper/review in the heading of each page, and pages should be numbered.
  • Please submit a separate document with the author’s name, title of paper/review, institutional affiliation, and email address.


Shift is currently hosted by The Graduate Center, CUNY.