CALL FOR PAPERS, 19TH IMISCOE ANNUAL CONFERENCE, June 29 - July 1, 2022, Oslo, Norway
Art and Aesthetics, Racism and Anti-Racism
Panel conveners: Carolin Müller (Hebrew University Jerusalem, Israel), Laura Haddad (Osnabrück University, Germany), Carolina Triana-Cuéllar (University of Sussex, United Kingdom) & Berndt Clavier (University of Malmö, Sweden).
This panel is co-organised by DIVCULT and asks questions about the interconnections between culture, art, and aesthetics, on the one hand, and the modulations of racism and anti-racism, on the other. In the past decades, governmental activity worldwide has turned to art and culture for what the European Commission in its strategic framework describes as “harnessing the power of culture and cultural diversity for social cohesion and well-being.” In its policy formulations, the European Commission is pushing the aesthetic into new contexts. Inevitably, the emphasis is on expediency, on turning aesthetics into a power and an instrument that governments might control. More recently, art and aesthetics are also merged with the concept of technology, as in the World Bank’s recent ventures to use art “to communicate risk and create resilience.” This recent emphasis is curiously at odds with a central foundation in legal and philosophical definitions of art, which suggest that art engages us in ways that cannot be reduced to a set of propositions or measured in exact proportions. What is conspicuously lacking from the policy statements is a sense of how art and aesthetics foster community and innovation and how it can be activated as a technology. Another apparent hiatus is the fact that art does not automatically promote cohesion and well-being. Historically, racism is a governmental strategy and technology and the arts have played an essential role in the promotion and development of racisms, e.g., in contexts of colonialism and slavery, and the post-migration border regimes of today. How can we understand the role of art and aesthetics in developing racisms, past and present? And, conversely, how can art and aesthetics contribute to the formulation of sustainable versions of anti-racism, particularly in the present, when governmental actors worldwide seek to turn the aesthetic into another “technology of rule”? We hope to attract papers, research proposals, opinion pieces, and provocations of all kinds addressing these questions.
This call can be downloaded here.