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Call for Papers: The Eighties


From ZoneModa Journal

Among the decades of the last century, the Eighties probably represent the most popular period, vividly transgenerational, the most imitated in the nostalgic commemorations of teenagers at the time now grown up as adults, the most extravagant and colorful. Recognizable for style, innovations, creativity, for all the features that have characterized their rich physiognomy, wrongly or rightly the Eighties have earned themselves the title of most excessive and superficial decade of the Twentieth Century. Yet, after a certain time, the Eighties have never been truly and systematically approached: they’re certainly talked about, but no unitary research exists to focus on the cultural offer of this decade.

ZoneModa Journal aims at gathering a historical and interpretational anthology of the Eighties phenomenon concentrating on its multiple faces. By nature, this decade embodies the guidelines of the so called “postmodernism”, overused and often misunderstood as a notion, nevertheless still very useful in framing the most evident dynamics of the Eighties. These rotate mostly around the recycle and pastiche of pre-existing materials, like a sort of “eternal return” ruled by the filter of irony and quotation. Among contemporary disciplines, fashion is one of the most suitable channels of observation to identify the spirit of the Eighties, that thanks to the creativity of Versace, Moschino, Alberta Ferretti and other protagonists of the revivalist-quotationist line, in Italy distinguishes for the backward look on the history and on the clothing codes of Greek-roman world and Baroque. Something similar happens in France, where Jean Paul Gaultier, Christian Lacroix, Thierry Mugler etc. are very skillful in remixing styles inspired by Versailles and pop culture. Indeed, pop culture is another focus point to zoom on, starting from music, above all the “new romantic” bands such as Duran Duran and Spandau Ballet, rivaled by the New Age of the Cure or Simple Minds, all supported by the diffusion of music videos through the frequencies of newborn Mtv.

Beside scholars specialized in pop culture, in its overview of the decade ZoneModa Journal addresses to design experts, a field that in those years is characterized by the playful and colorful style of Alessandro Mendini, Ettore Sottsass, echoed in visual arts by the “return to painting” of Transavanguardia, of Nuovi Nuovi, of Anacronisti, then by the Bad Painters, by the American Graffiti art and so on. Of course, equally desirable would be contributions on literature, enriched in Italy by the presence of the “new novelists”, among which Pier Vittorio Tondelli, Aldo Busi, Andrea De Carlo stand out, without forgetting the philosophical debate created by the “weak thought”, or the loss of “grand narratives” theorized by Jean François Lyotard in his famous The Postmodern Condition. Deeply stimulating are also the historical events of the period, through the years of Reaganism and the influence of the “Iron Lady” Margaret Thatcher, culminated in the end of the Cold War and the Fall of the Berlin wall. And it would be likewise interesting to understand how the Eighties have penetrated the collective imaginary of nowadays, becoming by now a subject to put inside the proverbial inverted commas by “millennials” scholars.

Every discipline, from sociology to history, from fashion to design, from photography to economics, can participate to set the outlines of a beloved decade and yet not investigated from a wide range perspective, finally capable of offering a no boundaries theoretical instrument of the vast horizon of the Eighties.

Abstracts of no more than 1000 words + 5 bibliographical references (word *.docx format), written either in Italian or English, must be sent to: zonemodajournal@unibo.it

Abstract acceptance does not guarantee publication of the article, which will be submitted to a double-blind peer-review process.

Key deadlines

  • abstract submission: November 30th 2018

  • notification of acceptance/rejection: December 20th 2018 (notice of acceptance might include comments and requests of explanations).

  • full-length paper (6000/7000 words) submission: March 15th 2019.

  • comments of the reviewers will be conveyed together with the editor’s decision (approval with no changes, approval with major/minor changes and/or rejection) : April 15th 2019.

  • authors shall send the reviewed article to the editorial staff by May 15th 2019.

ZMJ10 is scheduled to be published in June 2019.