Call For Papers

The Notre-Dame Effect

Future Anterior Journal

Editor: Jorge Otero-Pailos

Manuscripts Due: August 1, 2019

The April 15th fire at the Notre-Dame de Paris is still unfolding for historic preservation. Since the 15-hour blaze, we have seen the beginnings of a ‘Notre-Dame effect’ that implicates architectural heritage, global cities, and the heritage fields writ large.

Future Anterior seeks papers that probe the contexts and consequences of the Notre-Dame fire and bring to light the concept of a ‘Notre-Dame effect’ by critically engaging with emerging key issues, including: government responsibility and patrimonial negligence; the infrastructures and ethics of heritage philanthropy; the mediatization of heritage; affect and attachment; heritage and social equity; preservation financing; the contemporary politics of medieval aesthetics; and the psychology of cultural loss.

The fire at the Notre-Dame de Paris was one of several high-profile incidents of accidental damage or destruction to befall monuments in recent memory. Yet this particular event generated matchless international engagement that continues to feed back into an expanding set of questions, controversies, critiques, and commemorations. Conversations typically confined to preservation discourse are amplified momentarily to the level of popular debate. New problems and opportunities for governments, preservation professionals, and heritage patrons are clarified. And most notably, extraordinary public attention has created new international expectations for preservation–its methods and its outcomes–as well as for architectural heritage, generally. With these developments in mind, this special issue explores the possibilities and extents of the Notre-Dame fire’s impact in order to better understand the character and conditions of historic preservation today and hereafter.

To engage with the ‘Notre-Dame effect’ requires a view beyond the building, beyond the fire, and beyond its specific socio-cultural and temporal frames. As we envision what comes next, might there be as much to consider in the case of London’s Crystal Palace (burned in 1934) as there is in the National Museum of Brazil (burned in 2018)? Upon hearing the news our minds turned first to author and preservationist Victor Hugo; but might Guy Debord have more to contribute in light of the spectacle? And if Bilbao is our correlative, how might it suggest a refashioned funding landscape for urban heritage preservation after Notre-Dame? Questions of precedent and interpretation may offer insight into a Notre-Dame effect through the lens of the past. Of equal importance are contemporary dynamics that will continue to inform preservation and heritage practices elsewhere after Notre-Dame: How does philanthropy interface with our notion of heritage as a public good? What are the capacities of preservation as crisis management? And in light of a design competition, how might we reconcile top-down reconstruction plans with an understanding that heritage itself is a bottom-up social process? Future Anterior welcomes submissions that engage these and other questions revealed, magnified, or complicated by the fire at Notre-Dame or in its wake.

Future Anterior is a peer reviewed (refereed) journal that approaches the field of historic preservation from a position of critical inquiry. A comparatively recent field of professional study, preservation often escapes direct academic challenges of its motives, goals, forms of practice and results. Future Anterior seeks contributions that ask these difficult questions from philosophical, theoretical, and critical perspectives.

Formatting requirements for the manuscript:

Articles should be no more than 4,000 words (excluding footnotes), with up to seven illustrations. It is the responsibility of the author to secure permissions for image use and pay any reproduction fees. A brief abstract (200 words) and author bio (around 100 words) must accompany the text. Acceptance or rejection of submissions is at the discretion of the Editorial Staff. Please do not send original materials, as submissions will not be returned.

Formatting Text:
All text files should be saved as Microsoft Word or RTF format. Text and citations must be formatted in accordance with the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th Edition. All articles must be submitted in English, and spelling should follow American convention.

Formatting Illustrations:
Images should be sent as TIFF files with a resolution of at least 300 dpi at 8” by 9” print size. Figures should be numbered clearly in the text, after the paragraph in which they are referenced. Image captions and credits must be included with submissions.

Checklist of documents required for submission:
__ Abstract (200 words)
__ Manuscript (4000 words)
__ Illustrations (7)
__ Captions for Illustrations
__ Illustration Copyright information
__ Author biography (100 words)

All submissions must be submitted electronically, via email to

Acceptance or rejection of submissions is at the discretion of the editors. Please do not send original materials, as submissions will not be returned.

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