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Raised toward our $6,000 Goal
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Project ended on July 28, at 11:59 PM EDT
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2016: A big year, thanks to you.

January 10, 2017

As we wrap up 2016 and our semester comes to a close, we would like to share with you Contemporaneity’s accomplishments this year – which would not have been possible without the support of our donors like you!

With your help, we secured our most professional and exciting promotional materials to date, getting Contemporaneity to more potential contributors and readers than ever:

We were able to reach an international network of more than 80,000 visual-art professionals and academics through our announcement on art & education, an online platform that is the joint venture of two major arts publications e-flux and Artforum magazine. See our announcement here. By the next day, the announcement generated a flurry of emails from prospective contributors!

We represented the journal at two conferences in 2016, not just handing out our new, glossy, double-sided postcards, but also speaking on the conference stage about what we do, what our next volume will tackle, and how to get involved.

Our custom-made business cards are in the works currently, and we are excited to use these to network at upcoming events and conferences, including the major event in our discipline, the College Arts Association conference (February 2017).

Of course, this is all leading up to our major accomplishment this year: the publication of volume 5: Agency in Motion. With the momentum you gave us in the EngagePitt campaign, we undertook a few firsts with this volume:

  • our first thematic edition
  • our first exhibition (in Pitt’s Hillman Library lobby – see pictures below!)
  • and our first cover!

We were also able to host a small but tasteful reception at Pitt to celebrate the new volume with the university community, editors, and our intern. Events like this help us keep energy around the journal, and—more important—help us strengthen relationships with other Pitt departments and institutions such as the Humanities Center, leading to more submissions, new editors and expert reviewers in other fields, and new collaborations across disciplines and platforms. 

Contemporaneity as an innovative and collaborative project

July 28, 2016

Thank you to all of the donors for investing in the future of Contemporaneity. As the co-editor-in-chief of Contemporaneity’s latest published issue, it is a privilege to see the new visionary developments the current editors-in-chiefs have conceived for the journal. One of the defining features of the Contemporaneity editors, both past and present, is their commitment towards innovation. For edition Four, Allison McCann and I aimed to maintain Contemporaneity’s high standards as a peer-reviewed publication while also extending the readership of the journal by selecting content from a broader temporal, geographical, and disciplinary scope. As scholars of pre-modern art history, we were particularly interested in publishing scholarship exploring issues of temporal disjunction and the visualization of time in the medieval and early modern period. We also featured interviews of Xu Bing and the No Name Group in the original Mandarin Chinese to maintain the integrity of the conversation and open dialogue with scholars and enthusiasts of contemporary Chinese art outside of the English-speaking world.

These projects would not be possible without the dedication of the entire editorial team. With the collaboration of both graduate and undergraduate students in History of Art & Architecture as well as other disciplines such as Anthropology, Film Studies, and Sociology, Contemporaneity is a truly interdisciplinary endeavor that unites the university’s community. The editors work directly with the authors to help them develop arguments, provide feedback, and copyedit their work. The undergraduate interns dedicate hours to transcribing content, circulating the Call for Papers, and updating the Contemporaneity website and Facebook page. Running a journal of this caliber without secure funds is not an easy operation, yet Contemporaneity continues to grow in all facets—from its readership to its content. I’m thrilled to see what the future holds as the editors develop Contemporaneity into a definitive and original platform for art historical scholarship. As a donor to the journal, you make these innovations possible.


Carolyn Wargula is a PhD student specializing in pre-modern Japanese art in the History of Art and Architecture Department at the University of Pittsburgh. Her research concerns the patronage and ritual function of Buddhist embroideries from the Heian (794-1185) and Kamakura Period (1185-1333).

What Do You Mean By "Taboo"?: Contemporaneity from a Writer's Point of View

July 22, 2016

As I began my first year of graduate school in art history I made it a personal and professional goal to publish an article by the time I completed the MA program. Working with Contemporaneity was significant for me in many ways. This is my first published article in a peer-reviewed journal and I am deeply appreciative that it was through my alma mater and the department that supported me as an undergraduate.

It was a pleasure to work with my editor, Nicole Scalissi, who was always responsive and helpful in our email correspondences. Her thoughtfulness, care, and prompt communication combined with the peer reviewers who offered clear, critical, and supportive feedback to improve my article made working with Contemporaneity an enjoyable and intellectually satisfying experience.

The published article enabled me to meet a variety of publishing and museum professionals: the editor-in-chief of BOMB Magazine, curators of photography at the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., and my current employer, the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Contemporaneity offered me a platform to work through my thoughts with colleagues and to critically and imaginatively expand my writing as an art historian.


Tyler Shine received his master’s degree in Art History from the University of Maryland, College Park in 2015. Currently, he is the Constance E. Clayton Fellow in the Prints, Drawings, and Photographs department at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

Read Tyler’s article here.

Breaking New Ground with Open Ground Blog

July 14, 2016

My name is Madeline Eschenburg and I am a PhD candidate studying contemporary Chinese art in the History of Art and Architecture Department at the University of Pittsburgh. I was co-Editor-in-Chief of Contemporaneity for the 2013-2014 academic year. I then lived in China last year for fourteen months with the support of a Fulbright Fellowship doing primary research about performance art in Beijing in the late 1990s and early 21st century. While there, I co-founded a bi-lingual blog called Open Ground Blog about contemporary art in Beijing, including interviews with artists and art professionals, artist profiles, thought pieces, and exhibition reviews. During that time the editors-in-chief of Volume 4, Allison McCann and Carolyn Wargula, approached me to republish some of our interviews and articles from the blog in the 2015 edition of Contemporaneity.

The inclusion of Open Ground Blog interviews and articles was inspired by the journal’s desire to broaden its geographic focus, taking a deeper look into some of the questions, challenges, and desires of artists from all parts of the world. The fact that they are bilingual also provides more opportunities for non-English-speaking readers to enjoy our content and will hopefully inspire future bi-lingual or non-English submissions and readership. We focused both on history and current events, sometimes re-assessing the past in terms of the new networks, communities, and flows brought about by global capitalism and technological developments. In one interview we re-published in Contemporaneity, for example, we interviewed internationally-renowned artist Xu Bing in a conversation which revolved around young Chinese artists in the 1980s and 1990s and those working now. Xu had just curated a large-scale exhibition of art by young artists and was therefore able to compare their interests, weaknesses, and strengths with his own in the 1990s when he moved to New York as part of an expanding community of ex-pat Chinese artists. Inclusion of interviews like this expands readership and gives those readers access to a more nuanced understanding of global art trends.


Madeline Eschenburg is a Doctoral candidate in the department of the History of Art and Architecture at the University of Pittsburgh. Her primary research focus is contemporary Chinese art. Her work has been published in Yishu: Journal of Contemporary Chinese Art, Contemporaneity: Historical Presence in Visual Culture, and ArtSlant. She is the co-founder of

"Who, When, and Where?”: How Donors are Helping Issue 6

July 06, 2016

I would first like to extend a heartfelt thanks to all of our donors thus far. I will serve as editor-in-chief for Contemporaneity’s sixth issue and your generous contributions will fund advertising and professional copyediting for this issue. These are important steps in professionalizing the journal, and thereby raising its profile, attracting quality submissions, and expanding our readership and impact in our field. While our work as editors of the journal trains us in the minutiae of academic publishing and adds valuable experience to our CVs as future job seekers, working on a journal with a highly-regarded professional reputation can open doors otherwise inaccessible to us as budding academics. We thank you for investing in the journal and thereby investing in our individual futures as scholars and arts professionals.

            Issue 6 will be the second thematic issue in Contemporaneity’s history, following Issue 5 on agency and reenactment. Issue 6, subtitled “Who, When, and Where: Art and Identification across Borders,” focuses on issues of identity and the ways in which art has been used to enforce or challenge categories of identity. As editor-in-chief for this thematic issue, I hope to connect the work of our journal more deeply with one of our department’s working groups, dubbed constellations (For more info, visit I believe giving our graduate editors the opportunity to train themselves in idea-driven research of broad significance alongside the work of idea-driven publication will improve our ability to both produce and assess scholarship across disciplines and subfields. This is central to our success as academics and contributors to the field both inside and outside of our specialties and we are grateful for the opportunity your donation provides us.

Please see for a copy of Issue 6’s call for papers.

Rae Di Cicco is a PhD student in the History of Art and Architecture Department at the University of Pittsburgh. Her work investigates issues of identity and politics faced in Central Europe during the transition from imperial to national organization after World War I.​ Rae is the Editor-in-Chief of Edition 6. 

Photo Credit: Melanie Pfeffer

A Great Start!

June 28, 2016

Thanks to all of our donors who have helped us kick off the campaign!

We caught up with Contemporaneity’s founders to learn about the journal’s origins and the impact of five generations of dedicated graduate editors.

Contemporaneity came about when History of Art and Architecture grads wanted a “solid platform for exchanges with peers and scholars pursuing art historical research in related fields,” according to Cristina Albu, PhD (HAA ‘12). After many heated discussions in our Grad Student Office, the journal was born with the goal to publish on art from many historical periods with the understanding “all art was contemporary at one point in time.”

These core interests continue today, and articles published on a wide range of historical and contemporary topics from around the globe have attracted international attention.

For previous HAA grad Robert Bailey, PhD (HAA ‘12), “the best part of working on the journal was thinking about how to maximize the opportunities that Pittsburgh affords.” Check out Cristina and Robert’s awesome interview with Boris Groys and Petre Petrov, facilitated by Pitt’s Humanities Center and published in the first issue here.


Cristina Albu is an Assistant Professor of Contemporary Art History and Theory at the University of Missouri, Kansas City.

Robert Bailey is an Assistant Professor in the School of Art and Art History at the University of Oklahoma

Thank You!

August 16, 2016

As a direct result of your generous support, our hard-working editors and authors can begin work on Edition 6 of Contemporaneity with the necessary tools to publish polished, thoughtful content. We are thrilled to have the funding to support a trained copy editor and create professional materials for sharing new voices internationally. Thank you for your investment and for helping us continue to lift our profile around the world. Each edition helps shape the study of visual culture and we’re proud to have your support in doing this work. We’ll be excited to share our 5th edition later this year!

All our best,

Annika Johnson, Meredith North, Nicole Scalissi (Co-Editors-In-Chief, Edition 5)

Rae Di Cicco (Editor-In-Chief, Edition 6)

PS - Stay in touch by friending us on Facebook!​

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The Brushstroke

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The Street Photograph

The candid moments captured by street photographers show us a dynamic and diverse world. Your donation will help us expand our reach and voices in the journal.


The Magic Lantern

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