October (journal)

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"Octoberist" redirects here. For the Russian Octobrist Party, see Union of October 17.
Image: octoberlowres.jpg
Abbreviated title (ISO 4)
Discipline Contemporary art
Language English
Edited by Adam Lehner
Publication details
MIT Press (United States)
Publication history
Frequency Quarterly
ISSN 0162-2870 (print)
1536-013X (web)
LCCN 2001-213401
OCLC no. 47273509
JSTOR 01622870

October is a peer-reviewed academic journal specializing in contemporary art, criticism, and theory, published by MIT Press.


October was established in 1976 in New York by Rosalind E. Krauss and Annette Michelson, who left Artforum to do so.[1][2] The founders of the journal were originally known as "Octoberists".[2] Its name is a reference to the Eisenstein film[2][3] that set the tone of intellectual, politically engaged writing that has been the hallmark of the journal. The journal was a participant in introducing French post-structural theory on the English-speaking academic scene.[2][4] According to The Art Story, Krauss used the journal "as a way to publish essays on her emergent ideas on post-structuralist art theory, Deconstructionist theory, psychoanalysis, postmodernism and feminism".[2] Jeremy Gilbert-Rolfe, one of the co-founders of the journal, withdrew after only a few issues, and by the spring of 1977, Douglas Crimp joined the editorial team. In 1990, after Crimp left the journal, Krauss and Michelson were joined by Yve-Alain Bois, Hal Foster, Benjamin H. D. Buchloh, Denis Hollier, and John Rajchman.[5]


As well as in-depth articles and reviews of 20th century and contemporary art, the journal features critical interpretations of cinema and popular culture from a progressive viewpoint.


According to Encyclopædia Britannica, the journal was an "influential vehicle for the debate surrounding the emergence of postmodernism and New Historicism in 20th-century art-historical studies", and the journal "contributed greatly to Anglo-American academics’ adoption of French theoretical innovations, especially those pertaining to the analysis of cinema".[6] The Art Story describes the journal as "significant for revisiting and stressing the historical importance of early modes of 20th-century avant-garde art, such as Cubism, Surrealism and Expressionism".[2]


MIT Press has released two anthologies of articles[7][8] and a book series.


  1. ^ Smith, Roberta (24 July 2009). "Art or Ad or What? It Caused a Lot of Fuss". the New York Times. Retrieved 9 January 2016. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f "The Art Story: Critic", Rosalind Krauss, retrieved 2016-01-09 
  3. ^ Krauss, Rosalind; Michelson, Annette (Spring 1976), "About October", October, MIT Press, 1, pp. 3–5, ISSN 0162-2870 
  4. ^ Cusset, François (2008). French Theory: How Foucault, Derrida, Deleuze, & Co. Transformed the Intellectual Life of the United States. U of Minnesota Press. ISBN 978-0-8166-4732-3. 
  5. ^ "Mathias Danbolt, Front Room – Back Room: An Interview with Douglas Crimp", Trikster – Nordic Queer Journal #2, 2008, retrieved 2008-09-26 
  6. ^ "Encyclopædia Britannica Online", Rosalind E. Krauss, retrieved 2016-01-09 
  7. ^ Michelson, Annette; Krauss, Rosalind; Crimp, Douglas; et al., eds. (1987), October, the First Decade, The MIT Press, ISBN 0-262-13222-2 
  8. ^ Krauss, Rosalind; Michelson, Annette; Bois, Yve-Alain; et al., eds. (1998), October, the Second Decade, The MIT Press, ISBN 0-262-11226-4 

External links[edit]