Call for Submissions: Art Education Journal Special Issue

Reflections in Isolation as History in the Making

Download full call and submission details here.

In The New Yorker article, “What Submarine Crews and Astronauts Can Teach Us About Isolation,” Tom Williams, a NASA psychologist, discusses an acronym he uses to help astronauts deal with the stress of isolation and confinement: “CONNECT” (as cited in Russell, 2020). His strategy to reframe how we think about a pervasive problem resonated with me as a historian and art educator.

C: for community. Williams pushes us to consider the influence of the community that surrounds us and the shared experience of getting through this pandemic together.

O: for openness to this new challenge and an opportunity to reframe our notions of isolation.

N: for our network of friends and family, which takes on a different role during this time; there is a desire to reconnect.

N: for needs. Williams explains, “We all have physical, emotional, psychological needs.… When we’re more isolated, we have a diminished set of available resources to meet those needs” (as cited in Russell, 2020).

E: for an expeditionary mindset that encourages us to be open to new experiences. COVID-19 has altered the way we think about pedagogy and ways of being. While things may remain uncertain, and the new normal unclear, life will continue.

C: for countermeasures, or the actions we take to calm frayed nerves in our learning spaces.

T: for training and preparation. Williams asks, “How do we pull on our previous experience with adversity?… How do we draw strength from others around us as they post different ideas? How do we share with others how we’re handling it, to help strengthen them?” (as cited in Russell, 2020).

History opens up the possibility for researchers to bring forward stories and events from the past, carving out new spaces to include in the historical record of the experiences and perspectives of individuals (Bolin & Kantawala, 2017). Narrative research begins with the experiences and occurrences individuals convey in their lived and told stories (Creswell, 2007). Many art educators use the art of storytelling and narrative in their work (Kantawala, 2017; Kraehe, 2015; Lawton, Walker, & Green, 2019; Luz Leake, 2019; Nolte-Yupari & Jones, 2020; Rolling, 2010; Stankiewicz, 2017; etc.). With these storytelling methodologies, art educators can connect in a time where distancing and isolation have become the norm. This special issue of Art Education is an opportunity to share stories of “Reflections in Isolation as History in the Making.”

You are invited to submit 1,500-word manuscripts, including references, that relate to CONNECT and the methodological prompts above or any of the prompts listed below:

  • Visual reflections about isolation
  • Conversations about isolation
  • Students’ reflections about isolation
  • Reframing your pedagogical practice
  • From “best practices” to “next practices” in a virtual classroom
  • Isolation as a teachable moment in your virtual art classroom
  • Experiences of making about isolation
  • Connections/connecting to isolation
  • Distance/distancing in isolation
  • Counternarratives to fear and isolation
  • Museum education in isolation
  • Cultural and marginalized perspectives
  • Your choice

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