The conference aims at exploring the relationship between politics and aesthetics in a wide variety of areas ranging from literature and cultural studies to film and media studies, linguistics and the social sciences. It is expected that participants will focus attention on past and present debates over the meaning of aesthetics, its resistance to and/or complicity with politics, and its relationship to ethics and morality.

Possible subtopics include:

  • Politics through Aesthetics - Politics vs. Aesthetics
    Aesthetic categories and their political parameters; apolitical/politicised/depoliticised aesthetics; committed art vs. art for art's sake; revolt / conservatism and the literary text; aesthetics and the literature of ideas

  • Aesthetics, Politics and Language
    Language, aesthetics and society; language, aesthetics and culture

  • Aesthetics, Politics and Ethics
    Dangerous art; politics, aesthetics and the importance of being, or not being, earnest; the politics of sensation - the politics of cruelty; the (ir)responsibility of art/artists

  • Aesthetics and the Politics of Gender and Sexuality
    Gendered/gendering aesthetics; the gendered/gendering gaze and fashion; post-gender developments: the cyborg; camp and queer aesthetics; the (anti-)aesthetics of transvestism and transexualism

  • Aesthetics and the Politics of Ethnicity/Race
    Race/ethnicity, philosophy and aesthetics; race/ethnicity, history, literature, and the battlefield of ideas; pre-colonial/colonial/post-colonial views of ethinicity/national culture (or identity) in literature; aesthetic/political parameters of the representation of racial/ethnic others

  • Aesthetics, Politics and the Market
    Political/economic infrastructures and the work of art; the market and canonization; aesthetic pleasure and popular culture; the market and exoticism; museums, libraries and aesthetic pleasure

  • Aesthetics and/in Space and Time
    Aesthetic/political parameters of travel writing; sites of aesthetic/political homage; aesthetics, politics and everyday life

  • The (anti-)aesthetic and its (dis)contents
    The (an)aesthetised message; the 'failure of the new' and the politics of nostalgia; pastiche vs. parody; the logic of kitsch and schlock

  • Politics and Genre
    Political satire; the literature of sentiment in the service of politics; politics and the philosophical/moral tale; politics in popular/folk literature; the politics of science fiction; politics and cinema.

As this is going to be a 'travelling' conference with sessions held at two universities in two very different parts of South Eastern Europe, it is hoped that participants will further benefit from their interaction with cultural difference.

Abstracts of 200-250 words with a provisional title and a short bio should be sent by 31 January 2005 to:
a) Prof. Litsa Trayiannoudi (e-mail: OR fax: +30 2310 997432 OR postal address: Dept of English Literature, School of English, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, 540 06, Thessaloniki, Greece)
b) Prof. Ludmilla Kostova (e-mail: OR fax: +359 (0)62621468 OR postal address: Dept of English and American Studies, University of Veliko Turnovo, 2 Teodosi Turnovski Str, Veliko Turnovo 5003, Bulgaria).

Length of presentation: 20 minutes plus 5 minutes for questions/discussion.

Notification of acceptance: 28/02/2005 - EXPIRED! Thank you for your interest.