• Elicitations


    Elicitations is the journal’s reflection and review section. We feature think pieces about visual culture such as books, exhibits, film, social movements, and so on. Inaugurated in 2010, all previously published work is archived herein. We accept submissions on a rolling basis. Starting January 1, 2023, we will publish new content on the first of each month for two years. Spread the word and contact us to discuss your ideas.

  • Vibrant Materialities Across Media, Literature, and Theory
    Vol. 14 No. 2 (2023)

    This special issue of Imaginations: Journal of Cross-Cultural Image Studies takes materiality as the critical touchstone for a new comparative literary and media studies, asking how an examination of the modes of inscription across media, platforms, and interfaces, and more broadly, of the entanglements of bodies and things, can expose the vitality of materiality. The impetus behind this issue is the work of the Media and Materiality Working Group in the Association Canadienne de Littérature Comparée/Canadian Comparative Literature Association (ACLC/CCLA) from 2021-2022. As leaders of this Working Group, our aim was to expand the scope of the field of comparative literature to include comparative media by promoting innovative, interdisciplinary, and intercultural scholarship.

    We were first inspired by Marcello Vitali-Rosati’s call to action for expanding the study of comparative literature in the study of media. He argues that “instead of ‘literature and media’ one could say: literature is media.”1 He draws a connection between media and materiality through the very material act of inscription, building from media scholars who insist that it is a mistake to focus on content (narratives, images, information) to the exclusion of form (interfaces, platforms, hardware, screens, surfaces, code, markup schema, etc.).

    We were similarly inspired by phenomenology, feminism, and new materialism’s attention to entanglements between bodies and the world, seeing the political possibilities embedded in their reconceptualization of interrelationality.

    We highlight researchers who draw attention to the media and materiality of scholarship, and feature works that use research-creation and critical making methodologies.

    Topics in this issue include:

    • Studies of materiality of/in images, texts, subjects, and objects.
    • Philosophical approaches to materiality and interrelationality.
    • Cultural considerations of user relationships to media materiality.
    • Mediums of scholarship, including critical applications in open-source publishing, critical making, and research-creation.
    • Experiences, interactions, and representations of digital spaces.

  • Contemporary Critical Theory and Decolonial Visual Praxis: Exploring resistance narratives and colonial hegemonies in the pandemic
    Vol. 14 No. 1 (2023)

    The current public health emergency intersects with crises of xenophobia, racism, settler colonialism, ecological degradation, and nationalism, particularly for vulnerable and marginalized groups. The social and cultural concerns brought to light with the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic offer a unique window of opportunity; one that forces us to confront power relations that have shaped our political, social, cultural and economic life in contemporary society.

    As we enter a new era of digital episteme and scholarship, visual culture has become the gateway for the production and dissemination of knowledge. Contemporary approaches to the Humanities have pushed the limits of interdisciplinarity by embracing empirical methods such as Digital/Computational Humanities, Corpus Linguistics, and Computational Social Science. By attempting to bring the old and new theoretical approaches in the Humanities in conversation with each other, and through its focus on visual culture, this special issue of Imaginations seeks to highlight the various ways in which decolonizing knowledge production through contemporary interdisciplinary Humanities has become crucial for the struggle over the future practices of academic institutions.

    Privileging marginal realities, this issue sets out to challenge prevailing structures of colonial hegemony in this precarious period of global, economic, political and ecological crises. The particular focus of this issue are visual and/or digital media practices that reflect, negotiate, or confront the oppressive forces of neo-colonial regimes embodied in the experience of marginalization through racialisation in its various intersections. Contributors are invited to reflect on the possibilities of decolonial methodologies and praxes that centre resistance, survival, hope and healing for marginalized communities.

    Cover image: R. Benedito Ferrão

  • Critical and Creative Engagements with Petro-Media
    Vol. 13 No. 1 (2022)

    The production of oil is imbricated in financial and socio-political systems as well as ways of mediating the worlds in which we live. Like infrastructures used to transport fuel, audio-visual media and other forms of cultural production (museums, poetry, film, visual art) can serve as conduits for ideas about energy, identity, relationships to the nonhuman world, and history. This special issue of Imaginations on “Critical and Creative Engagements with Petro-Media” explores some of the ways that media has been used to examine petroleum’s place within Canadian and American cultural landscapes and oil’s attendant socio-political and economic structures. Given our location on occupied Indigenous territories where we work as researchers and educators, we assert that energy developments are always already implicated within histories of white settlement in North America. Drawing on literary and film studies, energy humanities scholarship, critical museum studies, and a variety of creative and analytical research methods, the contributors to this issue theorize contemporary and historical practices of corporate petro-media alongside creative interventions to trace the interlacing of oil, media, and settler colonialism.

  • A quilt on Massive/Micro Sensemaking

    Massive/Micro Sensemaking: Towards Post-pandemic Futures
    Vol. 12 No. 2 (2021)

    In what ways have forms for engendering the interconnection and materiality required for creative production changed in the time of COVID-19? How and why have our notions of imagining and visualizing cross-cultural production and its modes of research, analysis, and representation shifted? Cultural production responses to the global pandemic and related collective social actions have exploded, alongside reinforcement of entrenched systemic racism and other forms of discrimination and imbalance. In this special issue, authors weave together dialogues, methodological approaches, and materialities to reflect on shared critical autoethnographic practices during and after an international Massive Micro Sensemaking experiment involving 165 people.

  • Structures of Anticipation

    Structures of Anticipation
    Vol. 12 No. 1 (2021)

  • ReImaging Breasts
    Vol. 11 No. 1 (2020)

    Erotic. Maternal. Cultural. Symbolic. Medical.
    What are breasts? How are they imagined? And who gets to decide?
    Let’s open up the discussion.
    This special open access journal issue on Reimaging Breasts, focuses on visual representations in order to unsettle conventional ideas about breasts, which are often conceived in medicalized, objectified, sexualized, maternal, colonial and heteronormative terms. It will explore resistant and subversive voices and images where breasts are not just biological body parts, but where their presence or absence can disrupt medical, social, cultural, political and/or economic norms and practices.

  • Open Issue
    Vol. 10 No. 2 (2019)

  • Alexandra Halkias, Question Mark in Reverse

    Critical Relationality | L’autochtone et queer au-delà de la nature et du sexe coloniaux
    Vol. 10 No. 1 (2019)

    This special issue contains articles that document, provoke, or imagine relations between humans, and between humans and nonhumans that go beyond and trouble normative categories of “nature,” “sex,” and “love.” These manifest, for example, in hierarchical, anthropocentric, hetero- and homonormative, monogamous, marriage-centric and other settler-colonial forms of kin, kind, and relating. Ideas of what is natural are always paramount in settler invocations of what are considered the right ways to relate. Our focus on indigenous (“traditional” and/or “resurgent”), queer, and other consciously critical forms of relating takes inspiration from innovative work within the potentially articulated fields of indigenous studies; feminist, queer, and trans theory; disability and crip studies; critical race studies; science studies; and performance studies. We are looking for submissions in which scholars, artists, and other thinkers interrogate normative, especially state-sanctioned forms of relating.


  • Fashion Cultures and Media

    Fashion Cultures and Media – Canadian Perspectives | Cultures et médias de la mode – Perspectives canadiennes
    Vol. 9 No. 2 (2018)

    This special issue on Fashion Cultures and Media profiles interdisciplinary research and artistic output by the Canadian Fashion Scholars Network. Founded in 2014, this association gathers Canadian scholars, fashion artists, designers, and other fashion professionals. The Network’s annual symposia has taken place in Montreal (McCord Museum, 2014), Vancouver (Museum of Vancouver, 2015), and Toronto (Bata Shoe Museum, 2016). This issue includes sections on “Consuming Canada,” “Fashion Culture,” and “Fashion Media,” as well as two critical introductions by the co-editors. As the scholarly and artistic contributions to this volume demonstrate, fashion media and fashion cultures are inextricably linked. Critical studies of fashion media and fashion cultures are still largely under-represented in Canadian Fashion Studies. Analyzing fashion cultures requires interdisciplinary and comparative approaches and methodologies. It presupposes an understanding of fashion and of culture as complex frameworks of cultural analysis that can be multifaceted and contradictory, and often challenge disciplinary training as feminists, historians, theorists, literary and media critics and scholars. The contributions to Fashion Cultures and Media – Canadian Perspectives aim to celebrate, promote, and strengthen these interdisciplinary collaborations in Canada.

  • Still from All the President's Men

    The Mise-en-scène of a Decade: Visualizing the 70s | La mise en scène d’une décennie : visualiser les années 1970
    Vol. 9 No. 1 (2018)

    This special issue features contributions invested in exploring the intersections between the 1970s and its many visual afterlives and echoes. Our desire to re-think the recent past occurs in a present-day context in which it is increasingly difficult, yet necessary, to imagine alternative futures. But instead of abandoning the past (and its afterlives) as mere fantasia or the prerogative of reminiscence, perhaps a productive route forward could be found by describing the past in more precise ways and in reflecting on the desires it continues to provoke in us, expanding its inventory of images, with an eye to what such an expansion can teach us about the limits of the present itself. Here we are guided by the relationship to the past explored by both Benjamin and Adorno, figures who mine historical forms not in the mode of a merely psychological nostalgia or as a way of avoiding the present, but as the dynamic site of collectively repressed dreams and possibilities. Contributions engage the decade as residue and reproduction, as a material form that extends to us from the period, as a symbolic act rooted in the present which seeks to give life to a time now vanished or changed, or artistic attempts to name, critique, or perform the decade in some way. In the spirit of developing fresh visual constellations we are looking for a mise-en-scène that allows us to see the 1970s more clearly in its hold on, and relation to, the present.
  • Imaginations 8.2 Location and Dislocation

    Location and Dislocation: Global Geographies of Digital Data
    Vol. 8 No. 2 (2017)

    Guest Editors: Alix Johnson and Mél Hogan

  • The Visuality of Scenes

    The Visuality of Scenes
    Vol. 7 No. 2 (2016)


    North by West
    Vol. 7 No. 1 (2016)

  • Caribbean Cinema Now

    Caribbean Cinema Now
    Vol. 6 No. 2 (2015)

  • Scandals of Horror
    Vol. 4 No. 1 (2013)

  • Sighting Oil
    Vol. 3 No. 2 (2012)


    Special Issue: Crypt Studies
    Vol. 2 No. 1 (2011)

    The articles in this issue track the transmission of the crypt from a number of literary, cultural, medial, and psychoanalytic angles, augmented by cryptonymic visions of artists at the Academy of Fine Arts, Karlsruhe.

  • Inaugural
    Vol. 1 No. 1 (2010)