Inter/Transdisciplinarity

by Annie Dell'Aria and Shawn Rice | Download PDF

The editors' introduction to the first issue of the journal.


Welcome to the inaugural issue of Frame, an interdisciplinary journal of visual and material culture. Frame is the re-imagined sequel to pART: The Journal of the PhD Program in Art History at the Graduate Center. Our goal with this new journal is to provide a venue for scholars from a variety of disciplines to explore culture through diverse lenses and develop theories and methodologies of research that speak to multiple scholarly audiences.

For the inaugural issue, our theme is “Inter/Transdisciplinarity” — a broad introduction to the approach the journal will take in future issues.  Recent years have seen the continued growth of interdisciplinary departments and programs in colleges and universities, and scholars have continually reached across disciplines to produce new insights, often weaving together so many approaches as to become “transdisciplinary.”  The six articles featured in this issue span a wide selection of subject matters and re-conceptualize and re-frame objects and concepts of culture usually taken at face-value. To do this, the authors featured here make use of a range of academic approaches that traverse traditional disciplinary borders and reflect a strong tendency among young scholars to consider images, objects, and concepts from disparate categories of taste, popularity, and medium.

Kicking off the issue, Evan Snider’s piece, “The Eye of Hubble: Framing Astronomical Images,” looks at the construction of awe-inspiring scenes from outer space and their subsequent framing in various types of publications, positing that the veiling and unveiling of the processes of creation needs more critical attention.  Nicola Bozzi’s article, “From Metaphysics to Metadata: Aesthetics and Politics of Interface,” uses the language and architecture of information infrastructure to investigate the creation and circulation of seemingly mundane stereotypes in contemporary life. Lauren Kaplan reconsiders the mock ruins or “follies” of eighteenth-century architect Sanderson Miller in light of the twentieth-century valence of ruins and anthropological and cultural theoretical notions of hybridity and exoticism in “Exotic Follies: Sanderson Miller’s Mock Ruins.” Tara Atluri melds her own performance piece with cultural theory and Slavoj Žižek’s analysis of the political significance of bathrooms in “You Marxist, I Clean Toilet: Racism, Labor, and the Bathroom Attendant.” Kris Belden-Adams’s article “Harold Edgerton and Complications of the ‘Photographic Instant’” examines the photographer’s famous images in light of Roland Barthes’s notions of temporality. Lastly, Gillian Sneed’s piece, “Women’s Cinema/Artist’s Cinema: Spectatorship in Nashashibi’s The Prisoner,” combines multiple methodologies to consider the narrative and exhibition implications of a contemporary work of art.

Each submission was reviewed blindly by a group of three reviewers, including at least one reader outside the home discipline of the writer so as to ensure maximum readability for a heterogeneous audience.

This issue would not be possible without the continued support of The Doctoral Students’ Council and countless hours of scholarly contribution and volunteer labor from a number of people both inside and outside The Graduate Center.  To all of you who helped bring about this exciting collaborative venture, we thank you profusely.  We, the editors, hope you, the reader, enjoy the selection of scholarship for this issue as much as we have, and we look forward to consistently presenting provocative and insightful articles in future issues.