Throughout the last decade, interest has grown significantly in the photonic applications of 2-D materials since the emergence of graphene. The unique optical and electronic properties of graphene, including broadband absorption, high electron mobility, and ultrafast carrier dynamics, qualify graphene as a next-generation platform for advanced optoelectronic devices. In addition to semimetallic graphene, topological insulators, semiconducting transition metal dichalcogenides, and insulating hexagonal boron nitride have emerged, offering similarly fascinating, yet distinct, optical properties. Recently, 2-D layered black phosphorus (BP) has been found to interact strongly with light, while possessing a layer-dependent direct bandgap, adding to the catalog of 2-D crystalline materials with highly tunable properties suitable for photonic applications. The breadth of available 2-D materials, including wide-bandgap insulators, narrow-bandgap semiconductors, metals, semimetals, and topological insulators, supports operation covering a wide range of frequencies from the visible to the microwave region. As such, 2-D materials have enabled revolutionary breakthroughs in optical sciences, and represent a new paradigm for the development of advanced optical devices. Intense research progress in the field in a relatively short period of time has necessitated this special section on 2-D materials for optics and photonics that aims to summarize recent research in this area, while highlighting cutting-edge results.