Contemporaneity: Historical Presence in Visual Culture

Contemporaneity is an open access journal that publishes scholarly and artistic explorations of how the complexities of being in the world have found visual form throughout time. Based in the department of the History of Art & Architecture at the University of Pittsburgh, and emerges from its innovative constellations program. We publish question-driven research that resonates across disciplines, interrogating diverse visual material from across time using multiple methods. Our editorial board seeks to:

  • Adhere to high publishing standards that preserve the integrity of scholarship

  • Bring junior and senior scholars and editors together through a constructive, double-blind peer-review process

  • Generate content of lasting intellectual interest to emerging and tenured scholars

  • Provide a forum for junior and senior scholars to develop under-researched topics and experimental methodological approaches

  • Make scholarly writing free and accessible online

  • Lead critical discussions around current publications and developments in curatorial and artistic practice in flexible formats.

  • Link art historical practice to a global discussion of visual cultures across disciplinary and methodological boundaries.

  • Encourage non-traditional formats



Examining the concept of agency in visual culture, contributors writing from diverse perspectives and disciplines open up new avenues for understanding social and aesthetic interactions. Spanning the globe, time, and media, this edition questions the real and potential power of individuals, communities, networks, and objects.

Browse & download mid-November


Contemporaneity is now accepting submissions for Edition 6!

Who, When, and Where: Art and Identification Across Borders

For Edition 6, Contemporaneity seeks submissions that deal with the complexity of art and identification in time and space. Submissions that deal with the effect of borders on national and regional identities are particularly welcome; we also encourage historical scrutiny and theoretical analysis on borders and race, ethnicity, class, gender, sexuality, religion, and other categories of identification. How have different identities experienced border or boundary crossings differently? What borders have been erected to insulate normative identities and how have the arts served to reify or challenge these essentialist categories of identity? How has the articulation of concepts of identity evolved and inflected past and present discussions of particular identities?