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Daily Archives: January 4th, 2011

Mike Cole

AFROMODERNISMS

CALL FOR PAPERS:

Afromodernisms 2

What’s really new? Blackness and Atlantic Modernism, 1907–61

Symposium: University of Liverpool, UK

Confirmed Keynote: Professor Tyler Stovall, University of California, Berkeley

30 June–2 July 2011

Afromodernisms 2 focuses on the relationship between the Afro-Atlantic and the modernist canon.  Specifically, the symposium seeks to address the ways in which current configurations of modernism—the art and literature of the new—may be inflected, expanded, or even called into question by either localized or transnational Africanist interventions into the politics and culture of the first half of the twentieth century.

Call for Papers:

* What constitutes a ‘modernist’ response to the experience of the modern? What categories underpin the aesthetic category ‘modernism’? 

* How might emphasis on black diapora subject positions, representations, and artistic and political interventions, inflect current canonical configurations of modernism?

* To what extent might black feminist positions revise or even reject the totalizing tendencies of the male voice in canonical works of black modernism, for example, Négritude?

The aims of the conference are the following:

* To debate the tenets of modernism (its newness, breaks with tradition, interest in the exotic and the primitive, its sense of fragmentation and displacement, and the way it conceives of the individual subject) in two contexts: first in terms of the work produced by African diaspora artists and writers; second, in relation to the symbolic presence of representations of blackness in the work of Anglo-American, Caribbean and European modernists.

* To consider the degree to which a variety of actors operating from what might be termed ‘alternative’ or ‘displaced’ metropoles interacted to produce, in Jameson’s terms, an ‘active sense’ of the history of modernity, one in which a black presence was of key aesthetic, political and cultural importance.

* To expand Perry Anderson’s claim, directed primarily at European modernist movements, that one of the indispensible co-ordinates for locating modernism is its ‘proximity to social revolution,’ to include a range of Afro-Atlantic revolutionary positions. We therefore welcome papers that consider the range of anti-colonial and/or feminist responses to the experience of modernity operating across the Atlantic in the inter- and post-war years.

*To reconsider the emergence of literary and artistic avant-gardes in the context of black anti-colonial, feminist, and (pan)nationalist movements, the two world wars, and, in the interwar period, against the backdrop of fascism and communism.

Individual papers and proposals for panels, in English, are invited, addressing, but not limited to the following circumatlantic themes:

* Gender
* Black performance/performance of blackness
* blackness and/in visual art
* modernism and primitivism
* modernist landscapes and/or the city
* science, technology and the machine
* narrative, subjectivity, psychoanalysis
* the politics of history
* blackness and genre
* island modernisms (e.g. Antillean, Irish, Cape Verdian)
* tradition and experimentation
* modernism, politics and the metropole (Paris, London, Mexico, Dublin, Marseille, Berlin, Hamburg, Moscow, DC, New York)
* modernist soundscapes
* black writers/artists in/and Europe
* modernism and ideology
* modernism and the canon, including the Harlem Renaissance, Négritude, and Paris Noir
* formal innovation/ the language of modernism
* informal networks
* the work of ‘high’ and not-so-high modernists, for example, Eliot, Faulkner, McKay, Beckett, Pound, Stevens, Williams, Hughes, Joyce, Hurston
* responses to revolution: Easter 1916, November 1918, Spain 1936

For individual papers, please send a working title, abstract of 250–350 words, and a biographical note to: Fionnghuala Sweeney: fsweeney@liv.ac.uk  or Kate Marsh: clmarsh@liv.ac.uk

Proposal for panels should contain a panel title, working titles for individual papers, with individual abstracts of 250 words each, and brief biographical notes on the chair and/or speakers to: Fionnghuala Sweeney: fsweeney@liv.ac.uk or Kate Marsh: clmarsh@liv.ac.uk.

Proposals on teaching and curating are also welcomed, as are offers to act as chair or respondent.

Closing date for call: 11 April, 2011.

Kate Marsh
Fionnghuala Sweeney

Afromodernisms2: http://www.liv.ac.uk/soclas/conferences/Afromodernism

Dr Kate Marsh
Senior Lecturer in French
School of Cultures, Languages and Area Studies
University of Liverpool
L69 7ZR

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2001

ART: WHAT’S THE USE?

Symposium

Art: What’s the Use?

Friday 14 January, 2011. 11am-6pm
Zilkha Auditorium, Whitechapel Gallery (£15/£10 conc.)

How subversive really is the social uselessness of art?  Could art play a more directly functional role in culture? Dean Kenning and Gavin Grindon challenge the idea that art should be allowed to take critical positions safe from any real intervention. Participants include Artur Zmijewski, Dmitry Vilensky (Chto Delat), James Marriott &Jane Trowell (PLATFORM), John Roberts, Stephen Wright, Marina Vishmidt, Peter Osborne and Gail Day.

In association with Stanley Picker Gallery Public Lectures on Art & The Visual and Material Culture and Contemporary Art Research Centres at Kingston University of London.

The increasing visibility of contemporary art, together with the shift in art discourse towards the social dimension, not to mention the sheer number of people now practicing as artists, all make the use value of art a vital issue. At a local and national level contemporary art has clearly taken on a role as instigator of local regeneration/gentrification and city branding. Such projects usually involve star artists, while activist, community and socially engaged practices often take place off the art world radar, or else adopt conventional art spaces as leverage for their work. How do organisations and institutions with their resources and networks influence this equation of art and use? In light of the radical changes to higher education which are currently being pushed through alongside simultaneous cuts in the arts budget, can we develop a language beyond the business-model discourse of ‘creative industries’ in which to defend and promote the value of art to a wide public?

This symposium aims to ask: What is the use-value of art today, how is it useful, and for whom? What are the particular imaginative and cognitive skills, competences and approaches that could take effect as part of the general symbolic economy beyond the artworld? What are the lessons and influences of movements which sought an unambiguously social and political function for their experiments? And finally, what are the conditions that enable artists not simply to reflect upon the world, but to act within and change it?

Tickets are available here: http://www.whitechapelgallery.org/shop/product/product_id/800

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