Call for Proposals: Training School Archival Memories: Image, Sequence, Knowledge | 8-9 June | Leiden

Call for Proposals Due: 17 April 2023

a TRACTS multimodal training school

June 8-9, 2023
Leiden, Netherlands


This two-day multimodal photo essay workshop will bring together a maximum of 10 graduate students and postdoctoral researchers who are using photography as an integral part of their research practice. Drawing on theories and methods from the field of anthropology, visual studies, and geography, as well as from other fields of artistic, practice-based research and documentary image-making, this workshop and training school will equip participants with the skills needed to finalize photo essay projects. The workshop engages with the themes of memory, history and experience and draws from photography, its histories, and its potential as a tool for disseminating knowledge and producing more sensorial ways of engaging with these themes.

The workshop will focus on projects rooted in archival explorations. While projects can be diverse in terms of scope and subject matter, pitches should address inquiries into, engagements with, or analyses of archives and archival collections, be they official institutional collections or private, personal ones that are not typically understood as collections.

All participants will come to the training school workshops with a draft of a photo essay. They will leave with a completed version of this project and publication pitch that can be sent to academic journals or other editorial ventures that showcase image-driven research. The 2-day event will also culminate in a collective conversation about a potential special section to be published in Visual Anthropology Review. Training school workshops will be hands-on and experimental, and participants will be asked to contribute to this collaborative space via the presentation of their own work and their participation in crit reviews.

Workshop Leaders

This TRACTS workshop and training school will be facilitated by researchers, image-makers, and editors who are actively engaged in multimodal forms of knowledge production and in creating sustainable platforms for image-driven research, specifically Writing with Light Magazine and Visual Anthropology Review.

  • Craig Campbell University of Texas
  • Darcie DeAngelo University of Oklahoma
  • Lee Douglas Goldsmiths, University of London
  • Mark Westmoreland ReCNTR, Leiden University

Available Fellowships

TRACTS is offering 6 fellowships for graduate students and postdoctoral researchers based in Europe. Through a reimbursement scheme, these fellowships will cover travel and accommodation expenses. Students based locally will be eligible for local travel reimbursements. The workshop itself is free of charge.

Graduate students and postdoctoral researchers outside of Europe can also participate, but their travel and accommodation will not be reimbursed.


All participants are asked to submit a pitch for a photo essay project. The project must be a work in progress, and the final project pitch dossier must be submitted by 23:59 (CEST) on Monday, April 17th.

It should include:


A selection of 6-10 images that are part of a larger body of work about an issue or topic of your choice. The images must somehow relate to the concept of the trace and training school theme: “Archival Memories,” however, they can be directly from an archival collection and/or photos produced in relation to the theme. These images should not be captioned, but they can be sequenced or presented on the page in any format.


A description of what you seek to achieve conceptually with your proposed photo essay. (Max. 250 words)

Questions relevant to a conceptual statement:

  • Does the photo essay narrate or analyze a fieldwork encounter? If so, how does it do so? What issues does it address?
  • Does the photo essay seek to communicate or elicit a sensorial response? If so, why? And, to what end?
  • What does this photo essay trace, track, or make visible? What does it say about the trace, the materiality of photographic and archival practices, or the role of visual technologies in mediating knowledge?

A description of how you will execute the work that highlights the steps you will take to transform your images into a self-contained photo essay ready for publication. (Max. 250 words)

Issues that you should address:

  • What design elements will be central to your photo essay’s overall layout and presentation?
  • What form will this essay take? How will image and text be placed on the page? 
  • Are there other material or digital supports that will be integral to the photo essay’s publication? Do you need to hold and touch the photo essay or can it be presented digitally?

As projects that deal with archives and/or archival collections, please address any ethical issues that will be addressed. You should consider image permissions and questions of representation. (Max. 150 words)

Submission Details

Project pitches should be in submitted in PDF format and be no larger than 20MB.

All dossiers must be submitted by email by 23:59 (CEST) on Monday, April 17th with the following subject heading: ARCHIVES – First Name Last Name – Institution.

We will announce the participants by the end of April 2023.

Host Institution

Collaborating Institutions

This Training School is organized by TRACTS (CA20134), supported by European Cooperation in Science and Technology. COST is a funding agency for research and innovation networks.

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