Call for Papers: “Exhibitions of Impact”

Special Issue of The American Behavioral Scientist: “Exhibitions of Impact”

Guest Editors:
David Lee (NYC College of Technology, CUNY)
Barry Wellman (NetLab Network)


The American Behavioral Scientist (ABS) invites submissions for a special issue on “Exhibitions of Impact”

Submission deadline extended to June 20, 2020, due to COVID-19.

In museums and other locations, visitors behold, interact with, and consume exhibitions. In what ways do the exhibits, in turn, act upon the visitor? How are they normative or prescriptive, urging a change in identities, affiliations and behaviors? While informing or entertaining, how do they also inculcate world views and advance political agendas?

This issue seeks to address these, and other issues that consider exhibitions as forces of change. We seek submissions at the juncture of social science, humanistic inquiry and museum studies, from a wide variety of disciplinary, theoretical and methodological orientations. Submissions invited from those who study historical or science museums, as well as art museums/ galleries. Includes exhibitions found in memorials, parks, libraries, fairs, conventions, airports, etc., outside of museums.

The measure of impact can be concrete (as indicated by visitor rates, media metrics, polls, “likes” etc.) or it can be likely, possible, inferred, or abstract. That is, the concept of impact is here broadly conceived. For example, the exhibition may be considered in light of some impactful event, controversy or social/political phenomena. The unit of analysis may be a particular exhibit, exhibition, collection or initiative, or the museum/institution (past or present).

The special issue also seeks submissions from global scholars whose work may promote comparative, cross-cultural understandings. It welcomes various methodological approaches (qualitative, quantitative, etc.) and theoretical orientations (critical, rhetorical, empirical, ethnographic, historical, etc.).

Submission Topics:

This special issue invites scholarship that considers the influence, impact or effect of exhibits/exhibitions.

Topics may include, but are not limited to:

Exhibitions as agents of change
Exhibitions and epidemics/contagion
Exhibitions of medicine/public health/wellness
Exhibitions and nutrition/ food
Exhibitions and climate change; pollution; environmental threats
Exhibitions/museums as communication systems
Virtual collections/exhibitions
Exhibitions; inclusivity; social justice
Exhibitions, truth and reconciliation
Exhibitions as built and material rhetorics
Exhibitions and public memory
Exhibitions and social issues/ public policy
Exhibitions with political agendas (progressive or reactionary)
Exhibitions and gender, race, ethnicity, social class, etc.
Exhibitions and public understanding of science
Exhibitions and soft power
Exhibitions and social networks/ diffusions
Exhibitions as ideology, interpellation or governmentality
Exhibitions and performance; performativity; pragmatics or speech acts
Exhibitions as arguments; discourse; multimodality
Exhibitions and interactive technologies
Marketing; social media; online presence of exhibitions

Submission Guidelines:

Submitted manuscripts must be in MS Word (.doc) format with a separate title page that includes the title of the paper, full names, affiliations, email addresses, telephone numbers, complete addresses, and biographical sketches of all authors.

The main texts should remove any indicator of authorship, and thus ready for a blind, peer-review process.

Manuscripts should be in Times New Roman, 12 point, double spaced, and must adhere to the APA (6th ed.) style. Manuscript should contain between 5,000 and 8,000 words, including a 250-world abstract with 5-6 key words, all references, and notes. Up to three images can be included as appendices.

Manuscripts must contain original material which has not been previously published elsewhere or is currently under consideration by another journal.

Approximate Timeline

First CFP Announcement: November 1, 2019
Submission deadline: April 1, 2020 June 20, 2020
First Review / Decision by: June 30, 2020 August 30, 2020.
Revision due by: September 30, 2020 November 30, 2020
Second Review/ Decision by: November 30, 2020 January 30, 2021
Publication Date: Spring or summer 2021

Please email manuscript and separate cover page to by June 20, 2020.

 Reviewers wanted:

Now seeking reviewers to read and review up to three blinded submissions.

Thank you for reading. Apologies for cross-posting.

Any questions please contact