The Mir­ror of Race project wel­comes sub­mis­sions from artists and writ­ers from across the dis­ci­plines and careers, both aca­d­e­m­ic and non-aca­d­e­m­ic. See below for a list of sug­gest­ed top­ics. 

Sub­mis­sions will be peer-reviewed by schol­ars, artists or prac­ti­tion­ers in the appro­pri­ate field. See below for fur­ther details on the review process. 

Con­tri­bu­tions may be in the fol­low­ing forms:

1) Com­men­tary or art­work inspired by a spe­cif­ic image in the col­lec­tion.

2) Essays or art­work relat­ing to gen­er­al themes raised by the exhi­bi­tion and the project as a whole.

Con­tri­bu­tions should be orig­i­nal works. Con­trib­u­tors will retain rights to what they pub­lish with us; we ask only for acknowl­edge­ment in future pub­li­ca­tions.

The Mir­ror of Race project intends to engage audi­ences at all lev­els, from ele­men­tary school to grad­u­ate stu­dents, as well as the gen­er­al pub­lic. For the most part, we are look­ing for con­tri­bu­tions that a gen­er­al­ly informed read­er could under­stand. We would like to avoid aca­d­e­m­ic jar­gon and scholas­ti­cism as much as pos­si­ble. While we expect dis­ci­pline-spe­cif­ic rig­or from essay con­tri­bu­tions, we seek work that mod­els per­son­al reflec­tion and engage­ment with the images and issues, not the con­ven­tion­al aca­d­e­m­ic style of imper­son­al detach­ment.


Please do not sub­mit unso­licit­ed work. Instead, please write to the project direc­tor (see below) with a brief abstract or syn­op­sis of your intend­ed con­tri­bu­tion.

Because the Mir­ror of Race has a vari­ety of poten­tial audi­ences, please include a brief state­ment about your intend­ed audi­ence (for exam­ple: ele­men­tary school teach­ers; gen­er­al read­ers; high school stu­dents; col­lege stu­dents; etc.).

Note that you do not have to be an aca­d­e­m­ic schol­ar or artist to con­tribute to the project! If you are not, please pro­vide a resume or cur­ricu­lum vitae so that we may know more about your back­ground.

Writ­ten work may vary in length, from rel­a­tive­ly short sto­ries or close read­ings of indi­vid­ual images (about 1000 words) to longer research essays (up to 5,000 words, or longer). Exist­ing pub­li­ca­tions aver­age around 2500 words. The author’s pre­lim­i­nary pro­pos­al should give a pro­vi­sion­al indi­ca­tion of length. 

If your pro­pos­al seems appro­pri­ate to our needs after a pre­lim­i­nary review, we will invite you to sub­mit the com­plete work for a for­mal review.

The project has edi­tors in the arts, the human­i­ties, the social sci­ences, and the nat­ur­al sci­ences. Once we have your com­plet­ed work, the appro­pri­ate edi­tor will find a suit­able expert to make the review. Peer review will be blind. 

Detailed guide­lines for the peer review process may be found here.

To make an inquiry about sub­mis­sion, please email Gre­go­ry Fried, the project direc­tor, at


The fol­low­ing list of sug­gest­ed top­ics is not exhaus­tive by any means, but it does cov­er some of the themes we would like to see addressed by essays, com­men­tary, and works of art (visu­al, spo­ken word, writ­ten – all kinds). We wel­come oth­er ideas. 

 • Visu­al “pro­fil­ing” of race and eth­nic­i­ty

• Sci­ence and pseu­do-sci­ence of racial iden­ti­fi­ca­tion

• Gen­der, race and pass­ing

• Race and the law

• Race and the idea of Amer­i­ca

• Analy­sis of spe­cif­ic mar­gin­al­ized “racial” groups

• “White­ness” as a social con­struc­tion

• The “raced” lan­guage of cloth­ing and the pose

• Race and the his­to­ry of pho­tog­ra­phy in the peri­od

• Depic­tions of fam­i­ly, friend­ship, and inti­ma­cy

• Vio­lence, war and race

• Class, occu­pa­tion, race

• The Cen­sus: at mid-19th cen­tu­ry and in the present

• The native and the for­eign

• Race and nature; land­scape and cityscape

• Con­struct­ing the beau­ti­ful and the ugly

• Close read­ings of indi­vid­ual images

• Teach­ing race

• Immi­gra­tion and race