Mission Statement

Last Updated June 2020

Aspectus was conceived by the postgraduate history of art community of the University of York to provide a professional outlet for all members of our community. We are committed to contributing to the larger academic discussion of our discipline in a way that does not privilege economic status or university affiliation. We are committed to the open-access model, and the principles of equality through access.

Aspectus acknowledges the lack of diversity, both racially and economically, present within the discipline. The homogenous nature of the History of Art is a direct result of white supremacist structures within academia that have intentionally excluded non-white students, students of lower socio-economic backgrounds, and students with disabilities. Whilst we acknowledge the system barriers created by a homogenous and Eurocentric history of art, it is not our intention to erase the presence of or critical work done by BIPOC in our field. As representatives of the newest cohort of art historians, we will do our part in undoing these imbalances.

The editorial board would like to make clear that we believe, unequivocally, that Black lives matter. It is because of this belief in equality that we affirm our commitment to diversity in research, particularly that which aims to unsteady the grip of Eurocentricity on the history of art.

We also commit to a more actively inclusive selection process when choosing members for the Editorial Board so that our publications reflect more varied perspectives. Furthermore, we commit to holding York’s History of Art department to a higher standard in its own shortcomings regarding the hiring of BIPoC staff members and the lack of student body diversity. We also commit to being active participants in departmental conversations of decolonizing the curriculum taught at the undergraduate and master’s level.

Though we will at times be imperfect in our approaches to equality and access, we commit to measures of both internal and external accountability which will be included in our editorial board handbook. Similarly, because we are a journal by and for members of our postgraduate and alumni community, we urge you to keep holding us accountable when we falter.