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Calls for papers – 2013

VaroomLab supports illustration research. Three calls for papers are presented below. Please note that VaroomLab is not involved as a partner in these Calls and all enquires should be directed to the relevant organisation. VaroomLab’s most recent call for papers is Interpretation.

The Call for Papers listed below are:

  • Call for academic submissions: Message Mapping Eclecticism Through Practice
  • Call for Papers: Science, Imagination, and the Illustration of Knowledge - 4th International Illustration Symposium
  • Call for Papers: Enid Marx and her contemporaries: Women designers and the popularisation of ‘folk arts’ in Britain 1920 – 1960
  • ICON8 Call for Papers and Presentations
  • Call for academic submissions: Message Mapping Eclecticism Through Practice (Inaugural publication) Communication Design, Graphic Design, Illustration, Visual Communication et al. Where if any do the mutual theoretical frameworks and methodologies lie?

Scholarly submissions are invited for consideration in the full colour, large format, international journal, Message. Message, Mapping Eclecticism through Practice will be published in December 2013. Authors of published papers and reports will be invited to present these at the Plymouth University, Message symposium in 2014.

Message Mapping Eclecticism Through Practice

Communication Design and Illustration have less developed theoretical frameworks than other established academic subjects. We are inviting other visual researchers and practitioners to explore and map a potential theoretical framework, the strength of which is its eclectic nature.

This publication asks for submissions that place a piece of Communication Design and/or Illustration at the centre of the discourse. The intention is to create not only a practice focused and discursive academic publication but also to begin to map the terrain to see where, if any, areas of commonality may lie. Successful Communication Design and Illustration often requires creative alignments and engagements across an eclectic range of disciplines, processes, methodologies, media, ideas and cultural contexts.

Whilst the last decade or so has seen Design establish itself as a credible and coherent academic discipline, could it be argued that this progression has led to an emphasis on, and validation of, the method/process rather than the outcome/solution? Within an academic context, Communication Design, Graphic Design, Illustration, Visual Communication et al (the diversity of nomenclature does suggest an ambiguity of identity and coherence), appear to be still in the process of mapping and establishing their theoretical frameworks, methodologies, processes, nomenclature and terminology.

Communication Design, Graphic Design and Illustration often craft tangible, novel, inventive, provocative, interactive, decorative, useful, behaviour-changing artefacts or solutions. These may be imbued with personal perspectives and agendas of their creators and/or commissioners. These may vary from financial to philanthropic; from sustainability to self-expression; from educational to entertainment and from social responsibility to self-aggrandisement. Should we embrace all of these perspectives and agendas because they may lead to new insights, possibilities, knowledge and applications?

The complex mesh of motives, the permeable boundaries of roles, plus the impact of technology, have made it problematic for Communication Designers and Illustrators to develop coherent theoretical frameworks distinct from disciplines such as Advertising, Art & Design History, Design, Drawing, Media, Narrative, Painting, Photography and Semiotics. Indeed due to their nature, is it necessary for Communication Designers and Illustrators to define themselves as a separate “academic discipline” or indeed align themselves at all?


Message is a peer-reviewed academic journal that consists of blind reviewed academic papers plus one to three commissioned essays/articles. It is dedicated to the development and discussion of contemporary Visual Communication research particularly within Art & Design with an emphasis on Practice, Outputs and Artefacts.

The aim of the Message journal is to explore and expand the boundaries of Visual Communication within Art & Design through an experimental and developmental ethos, challenging the practitioner, the development and use of technology, as well as questioning Visual Communication values and social, ethical and sustainable practices.

All papers are considered with the understanding that they represent at least 80% original material and have not been previously published.

Dates for submission: 14 June 2013

Submission must include: written paper or report, images (with evidence of permissions), captions

Email: v.squire@plymouth.ac.uk


  • Call for Papers: Science, Imagination, and the Illustration of Knowledge

4th International Illustration Symposium

Organised by Illustration Research, in collaboration with University of Oxford Museums and Collections Oxford, UK

7 – 8 November 2013

‘Every great advance in science has issued from a new audacity of the imagination.’
John Dewey

Ian Whadcock

The Science, Imagination and the Illustration of Knowledge symposium will consider the contemporary and historical role of illustration in relation to the collection, processing, understanding, and organisation of knowledge and associated questions of epistemology and pedagogy.

The symposium is organised by Illustration Research in collaboration with the Oxford University Museum of Natural History, the Pitt Rivers Museum, and the Museum of the History of Science and these world famous collections will provide an important context for the exploration of these issues alongside presentations from curators.

We therefore invite submissions of papers on any of the following themes, and/or the suggestions of panels (three speakers).

◦   Drawing as a means of investigating the world

◦   Diagrams, working drawings and field notes

◦   Books and manuals, info-graphics, instructional and pedagogic material

◦   Visual taxonomies, classification and differentiation of categories of knowledge

◦   Visualising the invisible

◦   Visualising the body

◦   Phantasms, grotesques, shadows: the imagined body

◦   Science and magic

◦   Healing images

◦   Darwin’s legacy

Papers are invited from practising illustrators, from scientists and from academics.

Please submit 500 word proposals for papers and/or panels to Adrian Holme a.holme[at]camberwell.arts.ac.uk by Friday July 5, 2013.

The Journal of Illustration

Papers selected for presentation will also be considered for submission to the forthcoming Journal of Illustration (Intellect).

Illustration Research

Illustration Research is an international network of academics, researchers and practitioners in the field of illustration. It has held annual International Symposia for the past three years: 2010 (Cardiff), 2011 (Manchester MMU), 2012 (Krakow Ethnographic Museum, Poland)


  • Call for Papers: Enid Marx and her contemporaries: Women designers and the popularisation of ‘folk arts’ in Britain 1920 – 1960

One day symposium, Compton Verney, Warwickshire on Friday 13 September 2013

This event is a collaboration between Manchester School of Art and Compton Verney in Warwickshire, it examines the problematic relationship that objects of material culture associated with the terms ‘folk art’ and ‘vernacular design’ have within debates about artistic value in British visual culture. It concentrates on the re-emergence of an interest in ‘folk art’, especially amongst women designers, in Britain in the first half of the 20th century, and looks at the way that both ‘folk art’ and particular types of design activity practiced by women have been omitted from traditional historical narratives of art and design.

The curatorial work and collections of women designers and educators during the early half of the twentieth century is one example of what Ellen Lupton calls the ‘intangible contribution’ women have made to the field of design. Noteworthy names in this respect are; Enid Marx, Phyllis Barron and Dorothy Larcher, Olive Cook, Peggy Angus, Pearl Binder and Barbara Jones. All were design practitioners and private collectors, who found little interest during their lifetimes from the art establishment in legitimising the work their collections centred around. They nevertheless mounted their own small exhibitions and published books and articles to publicise the works to a wider audience (see Myrone, 2009).

These collector/practitioners took creative and practical inspiration from the objects and images as aesthetic and culturally significant designs, but they also had a professional interest in the way that they had been made. Their collections were useful to the women in their profession as designers as well as ‘experts’ and educators. One of the aims of the event is to interrogate the relationship between the ‘discerning eye’ of the collector and creative practice.

A call for papers on, but not limited to, the following subjects:-

• The work of women designers, illustrators curators, collectors and educators in the first half of the 20th century who championed vernacular and ‘unsophisticated’ arts

• Women’s involvement in The Festival of Britain.

• Everyday creativity, the domestic, the uncommercial designer.

• Feminist re-visions of design history

• Craft practice as a crucible for industry

• Relationships between collecting curating, teaching, and creative practice

• The legacy of the ‘unsophisticated arts’ within contemporary art and design

300 word proposals for 20 minute presentations should be sent to Desdemona McCannon (d.mccannon@mmu.ac.uk) and Rosemary Shirley (r.shirley@mmu.ac.uk) by Monday 10 June 2013.

Full papers based on presentations will be considered for publication after the symposium.

Compton Verney houses the recently redisplayed Marx-Lambert Collection and a collection of Folk Art paintings and objects, which is the most significant single collection of the vernacular arts in Britain, see www.comptonverney.org.uk



ICON8 Call for Papers and Presentations

Academic and professional submissions are invited for peer review for ICON8: The Illustration Conference. The Conference will be in Portland, Oregon in July of 2014.

Educating Illustrators in the 21st century

Symposium Date: July 9, 2014

Venue: Pacific Northwest College of Art (PNCA)

Deadline for abstract submission: July 15, 2013

The Educating Illustrators in the 21st Century Symposium seeks to explore ways in which educators can effectively address the myriad changes in the methods of teaching, creating and delivering illustration now and in the coming decades. Digital technology has not only rewritten what illustration is and what it will become, but it is drastically changing how art and illustration will be taught and learned.

Call for Submissions

An open call is made for contributions that broaden the understanding of how illustration is changing in the classroom and in practice. Unusual avenues of practice and enquiry are welcome, including both theory and practice-based researchers, academics, illustrators, painters and artists.

Themes that could be considered might include:

  • Leveraging digital technology in the classroom and beyond
  • Embracing a traditional approach to image-making in a digital world
  • Space & Time: the evolution of 3D, Interactive and Motion-based Illustration (and how to teach it all)
  • Developing an effective Illustration curriculum for the 21st Century
  • Classroom projects for tomorrow
  • The Death of the Classroom; how digital technology will kill traditional teaching and learning methodologies
  • Thinking Globally: making the world your classroom
  • There’s an App for That: teaching for the small screen
  • Digital Sketchbooks; the iPad as journal

Those wishing to participate are invited to submit proposals that can be presented as research papers or presentations addressing the theme as outlined above.

Initial submissions should take the form of an abstract of up to 500 words.

Bullet points of key concepts accepted.

Please include the title, presenter’s name, affiliation, email and postal address together with the title of the paper and a 150 word biographical note on the presenter. These can be as PDF or Word documents.

Email to Rick Lovell: education@theillustrationconference.org

Receipt of your submission will be made within 5 working days.

Proposals will be juried by ICON8’s panel of peer reviewers. If selected, papers should be from 3000-5000 words including bibliography. Presentations will be allowed 20 minutes, and papers will be published on the ICON8 website.

Authors of selected papers will be invited to present at ICON8 in July of 2014.


Receipt of Proposals and Abstracts                                                         July 15, 2013

Notification of Acceptance                                                                         Aug. 23, 2013

Receipt of Full Paper for those seeking publication                            April 4, 2014

Presentation at Conference                                                                        July 9, 2014

More information regarding ICON8: The Illustration Conference will soon be available at: http://www.theillustrationconference.org/






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