About the Journal

The ArtField covers issues in art and visual culture from Africanist perspectives. It engages art and visual culture by African artists as well as artists from other geographies and cultures. It aims to provide a platform for a robust debate on art and visual culture from scholarly and studio standpoints.

Over the years, the realms of art, both as a branch of scholarship and a social phenomenon, have continued to expand and contract in line with the whims and caprices of avantgardist forces in the first world and the fickle tastes of the international and local art markets. This reality continues to challenge, advance, and undermine the meaning and purpose of art in a new world full of surprises and uncertainties; it equally drives the practice and study of art and seems to inscribe art as “everything and nothing” in line with the postmodernist laissez-faire. In the same vein, most art journals have become overly rarefied and academic in their engagements of art with little or no concern for the audience and the enabling environment, as if art arose from a vacuum and as if the artist is a lonesome island. The situation is even worse for journals in Africa as they strive to catch up with the fleeting whims of Euro-American hegemony and at the same time grapple with the harsh conditions that define art practices, teaching and scholarships in the twin experience of development and underdevelopment. In other words, it is a post-colonial reality that most journals in these parts merely ape Western journals in an attempt to appear globally correct. Whether this aids or renders globalization suspect is another matter.

In light of the above, The ArtField seeks to provide a platform for interaction and exchange between artists and cultural actors and their environment and between art practitioners and scholars and the academia and society at large. Thus, while the journal accepts and publishes scholarly articles on art and visuality, it does not assume a totalizing ventriloquist voice for the artist and culture broker. There is room for the artist’s voice to be heard through self-promoting articles, portfolio reports, interviews and reviews.

In response to the realities of postcoloniality, The ArtField also favours a glocal approach to issues in difference to the prevailing conflicts in values and resulting hybridity in different human endeavours, including the creative enterprise and culture as the enabling factor. However, glocalism is not only a tool for grappling with the triple heritage that arose in the aftermath of colonization; it represents, for The ArtField, a more subtle basis for coming to terms with the challenges and corrosive tendencies of globalization.

Contributors are, therefore, expected to take these facts into consideration in articulating their submissions for possible publication. While the journal promotes and holds an Africanist vision, it does not insist on a provincialised gaze at the world. It only advocates a multiple, rather than totalitarian if totalizing, approach to the notion, perception and study of what art and visual culture are and are not.

GUIDELINES FOR AUTHORS

The Artfield is published bi-annually. All articles are published in English. Submissions must be original works not previously published or awaiting publication elsewhere. Accepted articles are placed in the production queue and published in order of acceptance.

The average Artfield article is roughly 3000-6000 words and should have 10-15 images. Publication of articles exceeding this limited will be subject to an ad hoc agreement with the editors. In addition to full-length articles, The Artfield also publishes Research Notes (600-1,500 words and 1-5 images focused on research in progress or on a single object); Artist Portfolios (1000-2000 words and 5-10 images spotlighting a single artist’s work); Artist Interviews (2000-4000 words and 5-10 images); Photo Essays (10-20 images with either a short intro and explanatory captions or a single text of 1000-3000 words); Collections (3000-5000 words and 15-25 images describing the history and holdings of a museum collection of African art, written by the collection’s curator); Exhibition Previews (2000-4000 words and 15-25 images describing an upcoming or touring exhibition, written by the exhibition curator or some other person).

SUBMISSIONS

Please submit your manuscript as a single Word file containing text and images plus captions via the following e-mail addresses: (theartfield@gmail.com, submissions@theartfield.com). Papers should be in MS Word. For review purposes, to keep the file from becoming too unwieldy, please insert all of your images as low-resolution files at the end of your Word document, with the caption beneath each image. When your paper is accepted, you will be required to submit your illustrations in high res with a corresponding list or guide.

THE MANUSCRIPT

All manuscripts should contain the following information:

  1. Cover page, including title and author’s name exactly as it should appear in the byline; author affiliation (if applicable); author email address; author bio (one to three sentences of profession-related information and preferred email address); and any comments or background information about the submission.
  2. Main text, with all the references to your illustrations as call-outs (i.e., Fig. 1, Figs. 3-4, etc.); all illustrations must be mentioned to in the text.
  3. References cited should be entered according to the Chicago Manual (the author-date reference format). List only those works cited in the main text, notes, and captions. Do not abbreviate titles or publisher names. We prefer anglicized spellings of major cities, e.g. Ivory Coast, not Cote d’Ivoire, etc. Avoid including peripheral information in end notes, where end note is necessary.

ILLUSTRATIONS

We insist on high-resolution digital images. We accept .tif, .jpg, or .pdf files, minimum 300 dpi for an image that will be printed at approximately 6″ x 9″, in CMYK color. If the image is to be published at a larger size, it will require a higher dpi. Name the file “YOURNAME Fig. 1” etc. Avoid long, descriptive file names. Images can be sent via email. If you are sending hardcopies for any reason, do not send do NOT send your only copy of any image. All photo-credits should be included in the submissions. Note that it is not the journal’s responsibility to obtain copyright permissions for authors. All copyright issues should be sorted out by contributors before sending their articles for possible publication, both for original images and those borrowed from other publications.