Thresholds 47: Repeat / Call for Papers

"Repetition is displacement; repetition is difference... repetition is pushing the limits of resemblance and limitation."
—Elaine Sturtevant

Works of art and architecture repeat: across global exhibitions, digital directories, sites, and centuries. Eames chairs are resurrected as keychains; Arnaldo Pomodoro’s serial sculptures dot the disparate cities of Tel Aviv, Jeddah, and the Vatican; Yvonne Rainer’s dance survives in reperformance. In Nashville, Tennessee, the Greek Parthenon is replicated across a thousand-year gulf; in Japan, a shrine is rebuilt every twenty years, celebrating shikinen sengū— a ritual of transfer and renewal. Cultural artifacts ride the movement of repetition, representation, and reuse between ever new publics and functions, accreting multiple lives and an unruly tangle of genealogies. 

Does a repeat world, a repeat future, predicate a landscape of the always already seen? Or does each repetition mark a rupture—an opening out onto possibility? If repetition harbors liberatory potential, so too does it carry an inherent danger: at a moment when history is repeating itself—when currents of fascism, nationalism, and xenophobia are flooding back into the present—notions of return and recurrence appear particularly fraught. What does repetition propose, beyond displacement and difference? In this issue of Thresholds we are especially concerned with the urgent political stakes, investments, and ideologies that always rush forward to condition repetition.

Thresholds 47: Repeat seeks scholarly writing and artistic interventions addressing the lives of art and architecture through the rubric of the repeat in a variety of modes: the remake, remastering and restaging, revivalism and restoration, pre-mechanical reproduction and early historical conceptions of repetition, and the second lives and afterlives of things.

Submission guidelines 
Please submit abstracts of no more than 350 words by Tuesday, March 20, 2018. Selected papers will be due Monday, May 21, 2018. Abstracts must be accompanied by an up-to-date CV and a scholarly writing sample no longer than 5,000 words. Acceptance of abstract does not guarantee publication; all scholarly submissions are subject to peer review. 

All contributions must be formatted in accordance with the Chicago Manual of Style. Accepted file formats for papers include .doc, .docx, and .rtf. Please direct all correspondence to the editors at

Thresholds is an annual peer-reviewed journal produced by the Department of Architecture, MIT School of Architecture and published by the MIT Press. Established in 1992, Thresholds first started as a monthly zine. Today, editors produce an independently themed journal once a year, and include submissions from the history and theory of art and architecture, visual culture, media arts and sciences, film, photography, and related fields. Thresholds is held in over 150 university art and architecture libraries around the world. Content features leading and emerging scholars and practitioners from the fields of architecture, art, and culture.

Thresholds 47: Repeat is edited by Walker Downey and Sarah Rifky, and designed by Goda Budvytytė.