CFP: [Collections] CFP: ANGELAKI: Shadows of Cruelty: Sadism, Masochism, Philosophical Muse

full name / name of organization: 
Gerard Greenway
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Call for Papers

Sadism, Masochism, & the Philosophical Muse

Edited by:
Frida Beckman - The University of Uppsala
Charlie Blake - Liverpool Hope University

Theme Issue for Angelaki: journal of theoretical

Proposed publication date: April 2009

This collection intends to address recent and
contemporary reconfigurations of Sadism and Masochism
in philosophical, literary and image-based expressions
of identity. How can theoretical approaches to Sadism
and Masochism assist our understanding of technologies
of self and other today? What are the philosophical,
political and creative implications of these
‘perversions’ in contemporary discourse, culture and
In the second thesis of Dialectic of Enlightenment,
Adorno and Horkheimer famously argue that the
illumination and liberation signalled by the Kantian
enlightenment will inevitably decay into the inhuman
geometry of the Sadeian enlightenment. This is a realm
in which any conventional notion of the “good” is
either utterly corrupted or divorced from all rational
ends and replaced by the exponentially conceived
pursuit of pleasure, pain and depravity. While there
are certainly innumerable recent instances that would
seem to indicate that this may indeed be the case in
the institutional and political arena, (as, for
example, the distinctly Sadean tableau of the human
pyramids of Abu Ghraib), in the private and cultural
arenas, the configurations of power and desire that
make up human identity are more complex and ambivalent
in their response to the violence of rationality. This
is an ambivalence that characterizes the Sadean and
Masochean spectrum, from individual proclivities and
the subcultures of BDSM that have formed around them,
on the one hand, to its broader expression and
interrogation in art, film and fiction, on the other;
an ambivalence whose consequences are further
accentuated when viewed through and against the
capacity of digital media systems and networks to
infinitely duplicate and transform images and
identities through repetition.

>From this observation, and following Gilles Deleuze’s
distinction in Coldness and Cruelty between the Sadean
obsession with cruelty as institutionalized possession
and the Masochean deployment of cruelty as a
contracted alliance, it becomes possible to revisit
and reassess both the politics and the cultural
obsession with violence, cruelty and sexuality in
recent and contemporary philosophy, literary
fictions, art and film, as a spectrum of possibilities
rather than as a logic of imposition.

Abstracts are, therefore, invited that will explore
these themes in philosophy, politics, literature, art
and film. Although some papers will inevitably
traverse these thematic domains, the editorial design
will delineate three main sections, dealing
respectively, though in no way exclusively, with
“Humiliating Reason: Philosophy & Perversity”, “The
Corrupted Text”, and “The Depraved Image”. We are
particularly interested in submissions that consider
the implications of the discourses of Sadism/Masochism
for the contemporary theory and practice of self.

Abstracts should be submitted in electronic format by
February 29, 2008, to the editors:

The editors will respond to abstracts within a month.

If accepted, completed papers should be with the issue
editors no later than September 7, 2008. Length:
5000--10,000 words. Papers will then be circulated to
external referees and depending on their feedback,
papers will be amended or accepted by the deadline of
December 1, 2008. Queries on this special issue may be
addressed to the issue editors. Work accepted for
development in this special issue must conform to the
Modern Language Association Handbook for Writers of
Research Papers ( Manuscripts should be
original in content and not published, and not under
consideration for publication elsewhere. Manuscripts
are not returned.

Angelaki: journal of the theoretical humanities
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Angelaki is seeking proposals for theme issues from
2008 onwards.
Please write to the managing editor: Gerard Greenway

Angelaki Humanities book series
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Poetics: Beyond Landscape and Lyricism -

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Received on Sun Jan 20 2008 - 06:10:26 EST