Archive for calls, March 2008

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[ecrea] CFP: journal issue on democratic aesthetics

Sat Mar 08 10:00:13 GMT 2008

>Call for papers for a themed issue of the 
>journal Culture, Theory and Critique to be published in April 2009.
>Democratic aesthetics: actual, radical, global.
>Since Walter Benjamin equated aestheticized 
>politics with fascism and war, projects to 
>conduct politics aesthetically generally have 
>been regarded as inimical to democracy. Yet, 
>given the role of the US as a hegemonic world 
>power exporting democracy by force of arms, it 
>is timely to re-examine the potential of 
>productive relations between aesthetics and 
>democratic politics There are many different 
>notions of aesthetics, ranging from a 
>philosophical discourse about art (often 
>understood as distinct cultural practices, 
>objects, experiences, perceptions and 
>judgments), to its original broader sense (by 
>Baumgarten) of the study of sensory, bodily 
>aspects of cognitive interactions with the 
>world. Moreover, ongoing processes of 
>globalization generate and intensify tensions 
>among culturally variable ideologies of the 
>aesthetic, even as they problematize the 
>presupposition of democracys universal value. 
>It thus becomes at once more difficult and more 
>urgent to think the relation between democracy and aesthetics.
>Issues to be Explored: The purpose of the issue 
>is to focus on those senses of aesthetics that 
>pertain to the sensory communication of social 
>meanings through the production/dissemination 
>and consumption/interpretation of cultural 
>symbols. In these senses, democratic aesthetics can consist of, among others:
>a)     particular genres of art forms that 
>embody specific democratic values (such as 
>portraits of ordinary people and individualism, 
>or Brechtian, didactic, realist theatre);
>b)     democratic styles of political 
>performance (such as political actors presenting 
>themselves according to the modes of popular 
>culture, such as politicians as celebrities, or 
>theatrical or spectacular activism);
>c)      the democratization of aesthetics, 
>recognizing aesthetic activity in everyday life 
>(as in Paul Willis grounded aesthetics or 
>Pierre Bourdieus popular aesthetics);
>d)     the constitution of democratic publics as 
>communities of aesthetic judgment (e.g. drawing 
>from Kants and Arendts notions of sensus communis).
>The issue will analyse general processes and 
>particular examples of democratic aesthetics, 
>while also assessing them in terms of conceptual 
>and normative distinctions of democracy. In 
>particular, the issue will address the question 
>of whether democratic aesthetics is irrevocably 
>associated with commodified and mass mediated 
>capitalist culture, and hence is symptomatic of 
>attenuated forms of actually existing liberal or 
>market democracy (as in critiques by Terry 
>Eagleton and David Harvey), or whether (and 
>under what circumstances) democratic aesthetics 
>can motivate more radical, emancipatory versions 
>of democracy. The distinctions between actual, 
>critical and radical notions of democracy is 
>also crucial to addressing a key motivating 
>question for the issue, namely, whether under 
>current conditions in which the Western 
>militarized export of democracy cannot be 
>considered an unqualified good, democratic 
>aesthetics offer less hostile ways of practising 
>democracy in an international and transnational environment.
>The issue will be edited by Jon Simons, 
>Associate Professor, Department of Communication 
>and Culture, Indiana University. Please contact 
>him with any queries about the suitability of 
>essays for inclusion in the issue (preferably 
>including an abstract), or any other editorial matters, at:
>(simonsj /at/<mailto:(simonsj /at/>
>Article submissions
>Authors should submit an electronic copy of the 
>abstract and the article to 
>(ctc /at/<mailto:(ctc /at/>, 
>retaining one copy for their own records. Essays 
>should be in English, double-spaced (including 
>all quoted material, notes and references) on 
>one side only of the paper. Authors should 
>confirm at submission that their essay is not 
>also under consideration with another journal or 
>publisher, and also indicate that their 
>submission is for the themed issue on democratic aesthetics.
>Submissions will be subjected to blind review before acceptance.
>Deadline for submissions: May 6th 2008.
>Form. Essays should not normally exceed 7000 
>words, including quotations and footnotes, and 
>the word count should be printed at the end.
>For further details about note and referencing 
>formats, the use of illustrations and other issues, please see:
>Culture, Theory and Critique is a refereed, 
>interdisciplinary journal for the transformation 
>and development of critical theories in the 
>humanities and social sciences. It aims to 
>critique and reconstruct theories by interfacing 
>them with one another and by relocating them in 
>new sites and conjunctures. Culture, Theory and 
>Critique' approach to theoretical refinement and 
>innovation is one of interaction and 
>hybridisation via recontextualisation and transculturation.
>Jon Simons, Associate Professor
>Department of Communication and Culture
>Indiana University
>800 E. Third St.
>Bloomington, IN 47405
>Phone: 812 856 0896
>Editorial board member: Culture, Theory & Critique
>Co-editor (with Simon Tormey) of Manchester 
>University Press book series, Reappraising the Political

Nico Carpentier (Phd)
Vrije Universiteit Brussel - Free University of Brussels
Centre for Studies on Media and Culture (CeMeSO)
Pleinlaan 2 - B-1050 Brussels - Belgium
T: ++ 32 (0)2-629.18.56
F: ++ 32 (0)2-629.36.84
Office: 5B.401a
Katholieke Universiteit Brussel - Catholic University of Brussels
Vrijheidslaan 17 - B-1081 Brussel - Belgium
Facultés Universitaires Saint-Louis
Boulevard du Jardin Botanique 43  - B-1000 Brussel - Belgium
Sponsored links ;)
Understanding Alternative Media
by Olga Bailey, Bart Cammaerts, Nico Carpentier
(December 2007)
Participation and Media Production. Critical Reflections on Content Creation.
Edited by Nico Carpentier and Benjamin De Cleen
(January 2008)

European Communication Research and Education Association
ECREA's Second European Communication Conference
Barcelona, 25-28 November 2008
E-mail: (Nico.Carpentier /at/

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