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ANTHROPOLOGY-MATTERS  August 2008

ANTHROPOLOGY-MATTERS August 2008

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Subject:

CFP UPDATE: Avant-Garde as Critical Practice

From:

Justin Scott-Coe <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Justin Scott-Coe <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Sat, 16 Aug 2008 18:07:32 -0700

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******************************************************
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* A postgraduate project comprising online journal,    *
* online discussions, teaching and research resources  *
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UPDATE: Call for Papers
The Avant-Garde as Critical Practice
Reconstruction: Studies in Contemporary Culture
Extended Deadline: 15 December 2008 (full submissions only)

In this special issue, we are looking for contributions that acknowledge 
the legacies of various avant-garde movements as they have affected the 
genre known, for better or worse, as "criticism." From Walter Benjamin's 
use of montage effects in The Arcades Project, to Roland Barthes' 
radical experiments with form in his post-semiotic work, to Jacques 
Derrida's exploration of a "science of chance" in his use of the 
signature in works like Glas and Signsponge, there has been an ongoing, 
if intermittent, tradition of exploring the idea that the historical 
avant-garde's interest in art as a form of knowledge and research, its 
dedication to using methods whose outcomes are unpredictable in advance 
(Surrealist games, Oulipian constraints), its openness to the utopian 
potentials of new communications technologies (particularly photography 
and cinema), all have the potential to not only become an object of 
criticism, but to challenge the very division between artistic 
production and critical discourse. Likewise, artists have responded to 
the demands of criticism in their own right by transforming them into 
manifestos and artist's statements which challenge genre on a textual 
level, by creating hybrid forms such as the essay film, and by making 
use of both language and image in the forms of video art, installations, 
and a proliferation of cyber-art genres.

This special issue of Reconstruction seeks to engage this tradition and 
its proliferations both geographical (where else has the avant-garde 
destabilized the binary between art and criticism) and conceptual (the 
combinations of "theory" and art in Language poetry, feminist 
explorations of autobiographical inquiry as a research strategy, to name 
just two prominent examples) on the level of practice. While there has 
been much discussion of how various philosophers and cultural critics 
have broken the frames of their respective disciplines, academia has 
been relatively slow to take their experiments seriously enough to allow 
a proliferation of such research practices and potential variants. With 
a few notable exceptions, the Enlightenment binary between "knowledge" 
and "art" has held fast.

We therefore invite submissions that engage the legacies of the 
"critical avant-garde" on the level of practice, that are willing to 
take chances with genre. Submissions that combine text and image in new 
ways are especially welcome from both "artists" and "critics," as are 
contributions that take seriously the possibilities that come with 
combining poetic, expository, and narrative modes of discourse. We are 
looking for art that is critical, criticism that is revelatory, caprice 
that is methodical and method that is "more or less capricious." Since 
this special issue seeks to encourage the critical avant-garde on the 
level of performance, there are no constraints as to subject matter. The 
"objects" of criticism may come from any discipline or, as Gregory Ulmer 
has encouraged, the "object" of criticism itself may be put into question.

Please send completed essays, multimedial performances, etc. to Alan 
Clinton (alanclinton_at_earthlink.net) and John Sundholm 
(john.sundholm_at_kau.se) by December 15, 2008. Publication is expected 
in the second quarter of 2009.

Reconstruction: Studies in Contemporary Culture 
<http://reconstruction.eserver.org> (ISSN: 1547-4348) is an innovative 
online cultural studies journal dedicated to fostering an intellectual 
community composed of scholars and their audience, granting them all the 
ability to share thoughts and opinions on the most important and 
influential work in contemporary interdisciplinary studies. 
Reconstruction publishes one open issue and three themed issues 
quarterly. Reconstruction is indexed in the MLA International Bibliography.

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