CfP: visualising the shelfie movement – documenting digital materialities

Special edition of Digital Culture and Education edited by Yasemine Allsop, Natalia Kucirkova, Jennifer Rowsell, Ekaterina Rzyankina, and Sumin Zhao

Covid-19 has transformed the way we work. With domestic space now positioned up front and centre in daily working life, the humble home bookshelf has been transformed into a professional platform. Heightened online time has invited novel habits and trends such as taking, sharing and appreciating shelfies. This special issue invites visual essays on ideologies, ontologies, and epistemologies circulating in shelfies within formal and informal contexts.

Shelfies throw into relief ways of being, thinking, and valuing (or not) spaces. What objects are foregrounded and backgrounded in shelfies? What is visible and invisible? In what ways are shelfies political, affective, hermeneutic, and contested?

Visual responses to the shelfie movement have the potential of opening up a new lens for conducting and interpreting research. In addition, visual articles give (more) room to present and theorise people’s relationships with the liminal spaces we move in and out of during and post-COVID.

We invite visual essays that explore responses to shelfies as both trend and lived practice. Some ideas for possible topics include: The form and function of shelfiesShelfies as cultural, social, and economic signifiersThe semiotics of shelfiesShelfies as affectShelfies as posthuman; Shelfies and the home-work dichotomyShelfies as liminal spacesThe politics of shelfiesShelfies and social mediaShelfies and wellbeingShelfies and identityThe presentation of shelf in everyday lifeThe shelf life of shelfiesBlurring, editing, and augmenting shelfiesThe curation of shelfiesOnline and offline shelfies; and, The post-COVID legacy of shelfies.

While theoretical perspectives and methodological approaches continue to diversify in these new normal times, we invite scholars to use visuals and words in combination in order to unpack the multimodal dynamism of the shelfie.

For this call, we ask that you submit your abstract to [email protected] by January 15th, 2021. We will send out decisions by March 1, 2021. Remember that these are visual articles, so you will need to account for both written text and how you will design your articles visually.


December 2020 – Put out call for abstracts

March 2021 – Decide on abstracts and send out invitations

June 2021 – Due date for visual essays

September 2021 – Due date for reviews

November 2021 – Final visual articles complete

December 2021 – Editorial written

January 2022 – Go live with special issue

Photo by Vladimir Mokry on Unsplash

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