Home » British Society of Aesthetics » Call for Papers – Remote Art: Engaging with Art from Distant Times and Cultures (Special Issue of the BJA)

Call for Papers – Remote Art: Engaging with Art from Distant Times and Cultures (Special Issue of the BJA)

Deadline for submission: April 1, 2023

Guest editors: Ancuta Mortu, Jakub Stejskal, Mark Windsor (Masaryk University).

Art objects often cross boundaries between regimes of meaning and value, gaining, recovering, or transforming their aesthetic currency in the process. In doing so, their remoteness presents epistemological, aesthetic, and ethical challenges concerning their correct appreciation, interpretation, and display. What place is there for engaging aesthetically with objects or practices one has little knowledge of, say, art of the Upper Palaeolithic? To what extent is it possible to transplant oneself into a different aesthetic (sub)culture, whether it be Qawwali music or Neapolitan Neomelodica? And what principles should guide the display of artefacts from cultures deemed remote, such as exhibiting looted or sacred art?

Questions such as these underpin several growing trends in aesthetics and related fields. There is an increasing awareness among aestheticians that the discipline needs to be conducted on a global scale. For some, this means taking a global perspective on aesthetic phenomena. Others focus on particular aesthetic traditions from diverse cultural and geographical perspectives. Yet others seek to expand aesthetics’ scope beyond theorizing the principles of aesthetic judging within metropolitan high art worlds. Those working in the analytic tradition have also increasingly engaged in the broader cultural and political critique favoured by the humanities at large.

These developments in aesthetics correspond to a similar push towards global perspectives in adjacent fields where matters of displacement, survival, circulation, and migration of art’s meanings and values on a global scale have been at the forefront of recent discussions in art history, anthropology, and archaeology.

In light of these trends, this special issue will examine the nature and variety of aesthetic interactions across cultural boundaries, as well as the conditions of possibility of such interactions.

The guest editors invite papers discussing topics that include but are not limited to:

– the aesthetic and epistemic implications of an artefact’s position or origin in a distant past or place;

– the (potential) role of aesthetic enquiry in the toolkits of archaeology, anthropology, or art history.

– aesthetic and ethical questions raised by effects of assimilations, circulations, recontextualizations, appropriations, or misapprehensions of artworks across cultural or temporal boundaries;

– aesthetic responses to unfamiliar cultures, artefact types, traditions (as opposed to discrete objects or events);

– the possibilities of constructing tools for global comparative aesthetics;

– the implications of lacking an internal cultural frame of reference in aesthetic interactions;

– the implications of recent developments in the natural or social sciences on the purported universality of aesthetic appreciation.

Papers should conform to the usual BJA requirements and be submitted for consideration by April 1, 2023.

Any queries should be addressed to the editors, Paloma Atencia Linares (atenciap@gmail.com) or Derek Matravers (derek.matravers@open.ac.uk).