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Special Issue 2024, v. 25, n. 57, September – December

Racism and Aesthetics: Historical Knowledge Production and its Relationships with Culture and the Arts

Topoi. Revista de História will receive original articles in English, Portuguese or Spanish for  its special issue Racism and Aesthetics: Historical Knowledge Production and its Relationships with Culture and the Arts which will be published in the September to December 2024 number (volume 24, issue 54). We also welcome reviews of books that address the subject. 

It is certain that the formation of the contemporary world is based on the exploitation of workers. In this context, the division of human beings into races and the hierarchization of these races through racism have been two of the main instruments that support and even allow such an economic oppression. History as a knowledge production discipline has sought, through its intellectuals, not only to register concrete periods, but also to present critical versions of social relations of the societies to which they belong. These versions consequently include reflections on race. Often, in order to reach such a goal, historiography has used the most diverse concepts and cultural phenomena, including the actual analysis of works of art, literature, and, more recently, cinema. It is not by chance that censorship has been applied in different levels by the establishment to historians and other people involved with the production of knowledge and culture: artists, writers, and filmmakers who, by their turn, have been linked to the quest for the development of freedom of speech as a cornerstone of their practices. However, it is also well-known that frequently art, literature, cinema, and historiography itself functioned as an auxiliary machine in maintaining the status quo or even as a more reactionary (rather than revolutionary) power. They reinforced and even created racial stereotypes in several ways: a supposedly naturalistic register, the writing of historical accounts based on stereotypes themselves, the invention of other space-time spheres such as in science fiction, the making of theories whose material roots would be used to base a predetermined vision of societies that are in fact much more complex. In the present day, in which under neoliberalism even censorship becomes privatized, the debate about the role of history and its relationship with the arts in the production of knowledge is ever more important, particularly the debate that takes into consideration the following: racism and capitalist exploitation, racism and its links with cultural objects and practices, racism and its influence on aesthetic decisions, racism and the production of knowledge in general and the production of historical knowledge in particular. Thus, this special issue of the journal Topoi welcomes research outcomes that analyze a wide range of interactions between racism, production of historical knowledge, and diverse cultural expressions.             

Articles must be original, unpublished and have between 40,000 and 60,000 characters. Book reviews should have between 10,000 and 18,000 characters with spaces and contemplate only works published in the last two years, (or four years, in case of foreign publications). All manuscripts must follow Topoi guidelines, which can be found in the instructions to authors:

Submissions must be made via ScholarOne. Please check the special issue option:

Submissions will be accepted from November 1st, 2023 to March 1st, 2024. Articles will be initially evaluated by the special issue editors, as to their relevance to the theme and the quality of the journal. Upon preliminary acceptance, manuscripts will be evaluated by at least two anonymous external referees, in the double-blind peer review system. Authors will be informed of the decision approximately three months after manuscript submission. The final revised version of the articles must be delivered by July 1st, 2024.

If you have additional questions, please contact, and

Rodrigo Lopes de Barros (Harvard University) and Ynaê Lopes Santos (Universidade Federal Fluminense – Rio de Janeiro, Brazil), Guest Editors
Silvia Liebel, Editor-in-chief