Around/Beyond Feminist Aesthetics

Katy Deepwell's picture
Call for Papers
April 30, 2022 to November 30, 2022
Subject Fields: 
Art, Art History & Visual Studies, Colonial and Post-Colonial History / Studies, Indigenous Studies, Women's & Gender History / Studies, Ethnic History / Studies

Below is a call for papers for a Special Issue of 'Arts' on 'Around/Beyond Feminist Aesthetics'

Arts is published as full-text online but this special issue is also to be published as a print book.
Arts is an MDPI open access journal (ESCI - Web of Science Indexed) (ISSN 2076-0752)

Guest Editor: Katy Deepwell

Katy Deepwell is Professor of Contemporary Art, Theory and Criticism, Visual Arts, ACI, Middlesex University and formerly founder and editor of n.paradoxa: international feminist art journal (1998-2017).
Send Proposals to: as soon as possible (by end of April 2022) with a paragraph outlining the proposed article/chapter.

Deadline for final Manuscripts: 22 November 2022
Publication date: February 2023.

‘As feminist thinkers construct feminist theory and practice to guide us into a revolutionary, revitalized feminist future,
we need to place aesthetics on our agenda.’
bell hooks Art on My Mind: Visual Politics (1995) p.124

With these words of bell hooks on our minds, this special issue of Arts proposes to re-examine questions in/about/around and beyond feminist aesthetics in relation to contemporary art (post-1970) and how the proposals raised will again place aesthetics on our agenda for feminist futures.

Feminist debates in/around/against/beyond aesthetics have been a recurrent concern in writing about feminist art practices since the late 1960s. There exists a long and complex history in the last 50 years which is all too often reduced to a few key questions about the visibility or representation of women artists or confined to one nation. Attempts have been made at different times and in many geo-political spaces to offer definitions about what is a feminist aesthetic (politically) as opposed to a feminine aesthetic (attributed to gender/sex of maker or artwork or as a practice of writing/language/art-making). However, in their encounters with feminist art practices, many writers from different parts of the world have repeatedly questioned how any proposals to name a singular aesthetic set a limit to what can be identified as “feminist art” and have instead proposed models of reading/interpretation which open out towards generative, pluri-vocal or trans-versal possibilities. Black, queer, Chicano, Indigenous, as well as Asian, African and Latin-American feminists have in their aesthetic theories challenged the “whiteness/heteronormativity/Western and Eurocentric” character of many feminist proposals and offered radical alternatives for engagements between politics/aesthetics.

This issue, therefore, calls for papers on contemporary art which rethink questions in/around/against and beyond feminist aesthetics in relation to politics that challenge and rethink different schools in aesthetics and aesthetic theory including (but not exclusively) those that are materialist, analytical, black, Indigenous, deconstructive, anti/de-colonial and post-colonial and queer.

Priority will be given to papers which engage with problems in feminist aesthetics but do more than rehearse the many blind spots on race/ class/ gender/ dis-ability/ ethnicity/ religion/ sexuality found in contemporary (male) philosophy or art criticism on contemporary (visual) art.
This special issue therefore welcomes attempts to construct black, Womanist or Afro-futurist feminist aesthetics; feminist materialist/Socialist feminist aesthetics; anti-/de-/post-colonial feminist aesthetics in many parts of the world; Chicano or Indigenous feminist aesthetics, amongst many other branches of feminist thought on epistemology, ontology and aesthetics.

Papers that offer alternative genealogies or histories for feminist thought and trans-national/transgenerational comparative studies are also welcomed.

Send proposals by end of April 2022 to:

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