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December 2003, Week 2


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Pilar Rau <[log in to unmask]>
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Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Wed, 10 Dec 2003 14:41:33 -0500
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CFP: (Cultural Studies) Art Worlds / Worlds Apart: Economic, Aesthetic &Other Intersecting Regimes of Value (1/15; 6/25)

(at the Fifth International Crossroads in Cultural Studies Conference, to be held at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, June 25-28,

Many politically progressive as well as elitist aestheticist theses advance the notion of a pristine realm of culture in danger of homogenization or debasement by “modernization,” “globalization,” Westernization,” “Capitalism,” or of other seemingly animate, villainous, global forces. Nevertheless, countless examples attest to the fact that aesthetic innovation and cultural difference persist and are even generated by new economic and cultural influences. This fear of encompassment is in part informed by a modernist ideological distinction of economic instrumentality from the pure realm culture. The complexity of analyzing emergent cultural production is complicated by the ideological quarantine of the economic from the aesthetic-cultural into separate academic disciplines (if not in practice). However, groups with different value systems may not perceive these discourses as antithetical, but rather may experience them both as concomitants of the penetration of Western ideolo
 gy and modes of production. Producers, products, and practices that effortlessly traverse the juncture of seemingly antithetical categories thus challenge disciplinary boundaries and present epistemological and methodological difficulties.

For these reasons, new methods and theories are necessary with which to approach emergent forms, ideologies, practices, and subjectivities which neither theorize them from a reductively particularistic perspective (that occults their dialogue with external forces), nor from the pessimistic perspective of conquering global forces (which privileges the agency and effects of material forces over the actors that challenge, reproduce, and realize them).

Through the investigation of the articulation of specific individual and group (re)production with larger ideological discourses and material cycles of production, circulation, exchange, and consumption, the session seeks to shed new light on the concepts of “aesthetic” and “cultural” production. Drawing from, but not limited to the intellectual tools of anthropology, art theory, cultural studies, ethnomusicology, economics, intercultural communication, linguistics, philosophy of art, religious studies, and sociology, this interdisciplinary session explores objects, ideologies, practices, and subjectivities that are subject to multiple regimes of value. It considers the multivocal syntheses or uneasy resolutions of actors straddling economic-aesthetic, global-local, and other antithetical, overlapping, complementary, and/or contradictory value-systems and discourses. It approaches these resolutions as possible models and sources of inspiration, challenge, and critique for con
 temporary academic practice.

Possible topics of investigations are:
·How historical and contemporary groups have incorporated the ideas of “art” and “Capitalism” into their worldviews.
·How to study the “art worlds” of producers for whom the notion of “art” is not a salient category.
·The social life of ideas and objects that circulate and are consumed outside their intended contexts and are imbued with unanticipated meanings and uses.
·The production of “cultural” goods for culturally distant consumers.
·Aesthetic and moral economies of exchange.
·The political economy of the “purely aesthetic object.”
·Divergent assessments of the meaning or value of the same aesthetic or cultural practices by different interpretive communities.
·The aesthetic practice of minority cultures in encompassing national or global systems.
·Novel forms, practices, and ideologies that belie the thesis of global homogenization and the death of culture.

Interpret the idea of  “Art” as broadly as you’d like. Short films, alternative media formats, etc. are welcome. Please email me if you have any questions.

Please email your 250-word abstract, contact information, and A/V needs to me by January 15. You will be notified of your acceptance by February 15, 2004. The conference itself is June 25-28, 2004.

Chair: Pilar Rau (email: [log in to unmask])

Department of Anthropology
New York University
25 Waverly Place
New York, NY 10003
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