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CFP: Black Reconstruction in Aesthetics

posted in: Call for papers

Deadline: Thursday 18 April 2019
Word limit: 3,500 words

Special Issue: Black Reconstruction in Aesthetics – Paul C. Taylor

Debates in Aesthetics is inviting short papers in response to “Black Reconstruction in Aesthetics”, a new article by Professor Paul C. Taylor (Vanderbilt University), specially written for Debates in Aesthetics. Taylor’s paper is now available to download from the DiA website, and an abstract of the paper can be read below. The editors invite papers of up to 3500 words, that directly engage with Taylor’s article. Accepted papers will be published alongside the target article and a response by Taylor. The Debates in Aesthetics essay prize will be awarded to the best paper by a postgraduate student or early-career researcher in this issue. The winner of this prize will be awarded £250. More details can be found on the website

Professor Paul C. Taylor is the author of Race: A Philosophical Introduction (Polity, 2013), On Obama (Routledge, 2015), and Black is Beautiful: A Philosophy of Black Aesthetics (Wiley Blackwell, 2016). The latter was awarded the ASA monograph prize in 2017. He is W. Alton Jones Professor of Philosophy at Vanderbilt University.

Abstract: Black Reconstruction in Aesthetics – Paul C. Taylor
This essay uses the concept of reconstruction to make an argument and an intervention in relation to the practice and study of Black aesthetics. The argument will have to do with the parochialism of John Dewey, the institutional inertia of professional philosophy, the aesthetic dimensions of the US politics of reconstruction, the centrality of reconstructionist politics to the Black aesthetic tradition, and the staging of a reconstructionist argument in the film, “Black Panther” (Coogler 2018). The intervention aims to address the fact that arguments like these tend not to register properly because of certain reflexive and customary limits on some common forms of philosophical inquiry. The sort of professional philosophy I was raised to practise and value tends not to be particularly inclusive and open-minded, especially when it comes to subjects that bear directly on the thoughts, lives, and practices of people racialized as black. Black aesthetics, by contrast, is an inherently ecumenical enterprise, reaching across disciplinary and demographic boundaries to build communities of practice and exchange. Hence the need for an intervention: to create the space for arguments and the people who work with them to function across disciplinary and demographic contexts.