Reframing King James VI and I – CALL FOR PAPERS

Date / time: 2 April, 11:59 pm

Reframing King James VI and I - CALL FOR PAPERS


Call for Papers, deadline – 2 April 2024

The open access journal, British Art Studies, invites proposals for articles and features on Jacobean visual and material culture for a special themed issue publishing in 2025.

In 1603, James VI of Scots (1566–1625) succeeded to the English throne, uniting the kingdoms of England, Scotland and Ireland and founding a new Stuart dynasty south of the border. James’s accession initiated greater cultural exchange between his kingdoms, a move towards closer relations with Europe and a growing interest in global expansion, with significant impact on the development of visual and material culture within the British Isles. Nevertheless, scholarly treatment all too often addresses the Jacobean arts as an extension of, or coda to, Elizabethan aesthetics, rather than as the product of a period of its own profound historical change. James’s, too, has been misrepresented as a monarch disinterested in visual culture. These readings, however, are symptomatic of a narrow view of Stuart material display and overlook the king’s sustained interest in architecture, sartorial display and festive spectacle.

This special issue, marking the four-hundred-year anniversary of James’s death, seeks to counter traditional narratives, analysing the rich visual world of James’s reign as a product of distinct and complex political, religious, social and cultural networks. Significantly, it will view James not as two kings but as one, taking a long view of his reign from 1567 to 1625 and assessing royal patronage at the Scottish and English courts. The issue aims to reframe James and his reign, recovering his own cultural interests and acumen, as well as exposing the diverse material interests of his people.

We welcome proposals from cultural critics, curators, scholars and students that offer new perspectives and approaches to topics including, but not limited to, artisans and artificers, architecture, clothing, colonialism, courts, display, dynasty, identity politics, patronage, religion, ritual, social order, self-fashioning and sexual politics in connection to any or all of James’s kingdoms.

Contributors to the special issue will be invited to attend a funded study day in London, in summer 2024, to view relevant material at national collections and develop conversation and dialogue. The special issue is guest-edited by Kate Anderson (Senior Curator, Pre 1700 collections, National Galleries of Scotland), Jemma Field (Associate Director of Research, Yale Center for British Art) and Catriona Murray (Senior Lecturer in History of Art, University of Edinburgh).

Submission Details

Please submit abstracts of 200 words or less to the editors at by 11.59 pm BST on Tuesday 2 April 2024. We will notify accepted papers by Friday 26 April 2024. The standard length for scholarly articles ranges between 6,000 and 8,000 words, and other formats are considered when appropriate to the nature of the content.

Stills, moving images, 3D models and audio tracks can all be included as illustrations. The journal will carry out any necessary media research or rights clearances on behalf of authors and, within reason, cover all fees for reproduction rights. Proposals that engage with the digital possibilities of the journal platform are encouraged and feature formats are outlined in the submissions guidelines.

Further Details

British Art Studies is an open-access and peer-reviewed journal co-published by the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art, London and the Yale Center for British Art, New Haven. Since it was established in 2015, it has published scholarship on all aspects of British art, architecture and visual culture, from the medieval period to the present day.

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