What purposes do art and art criticism serve in the wake of great loss? 

How have artists re-envisioned the relationship between aesthetics and ethics given the compounding crises of the pandemic, climate change, and systemic racism?

For our sixth issue, the Journal of Art Criticism seeks essays and original artworks that interrogate the notion of afterlives in the changing world of contemporary art. Some questions that might guide this exploration include—but are certainly not limited to—the following:

  • Do artworks have a shelf life? What is the afterlife of contemporary art after its degradation, displacement, or acquisition by a museum? 
  • In an age of disruption, what artistic forms and structures of feelings persist? Which material legacies endure? 
  • How have contemporary artists given traditional artistic forms or materials new life? How do contemporary artists attempt to circumvent loss? 
  • What are the afterlives of public, site-specific and ephemeral artworks? What are the afterlives of digital artworks? Is there an end to infinite reproducibility? 
  • How does art grapple with and survive generational trauma? How are contemporary artists reacting to our present moment of reckoning, transition and contingency? Is the afterlife romanticized or fragmentary?

Submission guidelines:
Please include your name, the title of your work, and your school + expected graduation date in the body of your email. Please do not include your name and school anywhere in your text document. You may submit multiple pieces, but include these details for each work. Specify if you are submitting for online or print; online submissions are accepted on a rolling basis.
All writers and artists must be currently enrolled in an undergraduate program at the time of their submission.
We request that all submissions are previously unpublished. If you would like to submit your work elsewhere after it is featured in JAC, please acknowledge our editors’ work by noting that JAC was the original place of publication.

All TEXTS should primarily address the work of a living or contemporary artist. Attach your writing as a Word document with Chicago citations. Our review process is anonymous; please do not include your name in the document. For print, we prefer texts of 1000 – 3000 words, though we will consider texts of up to 4000 words.
For online submissions, shorter reviews and interviews of 750-2000 words are preferable.
Please note that this is a peer-reviewed journal; we expect that authors will work with our editors before any writing is published.

Attach your ART as a jpg at 300dpi if it is image-based. Artists statements are accepted, but not mandatory.
Contact us for specifications for other media.

Email your submission to with the subject line Submission – [Title of Work]. Please email the same address with any questions.


Submissions are due Friday, January 8th, 2021

We look forward to hearing from you!

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