ISSN: 20403704
Online ISSN: 20403712
First published in 2010
2 issues per volume
Current Issue:
Volume 5 / Issue 1 Free Issue
Volume 1 | Issue 1    Submit article   

Call for Papers

Download the POST Notes for Contributors

Please send all journal submissions to the editor Simon Downs at 

All articles submitted should be original work and must not be under consideration by other publications.

The Poster 5.1: Lies, Damn Lies and Alternative Truth.
The Poster is making a call for: Papers, artist/designer monographs, image and photo essays, reviews and opinion pieces. The issue will draw from a variety of subject areas and interdisciplinary perspectives to develop new understandings of the on the subject of the mechanisms and operation of alternative truth, outright lies and spin and propaganda in the age of Putin and Trump, all told through visual rhetoric.
Civil society finds itself living in the (Trump) Tower of Babel. We inhabit an increasingly divided society, divided through a lack of a common worldview, with communication technologies promoting the daily creation of alternative canons of truth with the ease of a child's kaleidoscope making patterns. This facile and joyful fecundity in social myth-making brings deep problems for traditional political communication because, as Habermas notes:
'Every act of reaching mutual understanding is confirmed by a rationale consensus; otherwise it is not a "real" act of reaching understanding, as we say. Competent speakers know that any de facto consensus attained can be illusory; but their basis for the concept of an illusory (or simply forced) consensus is the concept of a rationale consensus. They know that an illusory consensus must be replaced with an actual one if communication is to lead to mutual understanding. As soon as we start communicating, we implicitly declare our desire to reach an understanding with one another about something. If consensus―even about a difference of opinion―can no longer be reasonably expected, communication breaks down.'
(p. 450 (Truth and Seeing from Preliminary studies in the theory if communication action (2001) from Theorising Communication. 2007))
In this world of floating values, the hope for a political consensus of the Habermas model seems to be receding into the Net.What does this mean for communicators, designers, artists, theorists and propagandists when our rhetorical barbs lose their edge through simple miscomprehension? When disbelief in the shootings at Sandy Hook is replaced by a belief in the Bowling Green Massacre, how will political communication happen?
Areas of interest for studies of visual-political communication include (but are not limited to):
  • Is there a social disconnect with the normative narratives that mass communication depends on, rendering propaganda speechless?
  • Is the rise of the Digital Public Sphere killing consensus politics, or saving us from a weight of overbearing myth?
  • Does the disruption of large-scale monocultures by online communities mark an end for 20th century models of mass propaganda?
  • Are the subalterns taking control?
  • What happens to informed democratic systems when the rulers and the ruled fundamentally inhabit different worlds, shaped by different ideas?
  • Universal translators: Are there communication methods that can speak across the divides?
  • Can we ‘mass customise’ political communication to speak the same truth, in different tongues, to all audiences at once

The relationship between culture and technology has shaped political communication since the time of the Sacra Congregatio de Propaganda Fide, and now emergent communications tools have widened the grasp and increased the reach of a political message. The rise of the Net has given individuals and small groups the same grasp and reach as the largest power-block, and the possibilities for technically mediated political communication keep expanding.More than timely, it has become imperative for researchers to examine the complex interplay between the means and methods of political communication and the possibility of a normative consensus in the political world.

Multimodality is a key element to understanding the use of images in combination with other forms of mediated communication. We therefore encourage scholars from both social and political science, as well as cultural studies, arts, and communication studies, to submit proposals for work for publication. The journal is looking for:
  • Full papers of 7,000-9,000 words, plus illustrations on the issue’s theme (for double blind peer review). Rich illustration of the text is welcomed. Theoretical papers as well as methodological discussion are welcomed, but preferably in combination with empirical analysis of imagery. Case studies, comparisons across culture, or historical studies are invited.
  • Artist/designer monographs: Extended scholarly pieces addressing the issue’s theme (for double blind peer review). 10,000 – 25,000 words, plus extensive illustrations.
  • Image and photo essays composed of illustrations, photographs, diagrams or schematics that use visual languages to communicate their stance on this edition’s themes. Textual support may be added, if necessary.
  • Reviews of relevant books, exhibitions and political gatherings (the editors would be more than happy to publish a good review of the US Republican or Democratic party conferences, a Congressional investigation or a demonstration).
Abstracts (250 words) due Thursday 8th September 2017. Selected contributors will be informed in the following week.

Full manuscripts due Monday 2nd January 2018.


Journal contributors will receive a free PDF copy of their final work upon publication. Print copies of the journal may also be purchased by contributors at half price.

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