"The Arts of Democracy" (Deadline June 1, 2009)

full name / name of organization: 
SOUNDINGS: An Interdisciplinary Journal
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It is often assumed that the arts, and particularly the fine arts, create and sustain the kinds of social distinctions that are antithetical to true democracy. This is the claim advanced by Pierre Bourdieu's influential Distinction where he argues that what appear to be innocent differences in aesthetic tastes are, in fact, the markers of class identity that enforce social hierarchy. However, there is a countervaling tradition, represented most famously by John Dewey, that insists that the arts are necessary to the health and longevity of democratic culture, and many contemporary artists and theorists are devoted to developing an aesthetic that participates in the development of democratic ideals.

Is a democratic aesthetic merely wishful thinking, or do the arts have some role to play in democratic culture? Soundings: An Interdisciplinary Journal is soliciting articles which address the relationship between the arts and democratic culture and politics. Possible topics include:

Revolutionary Rhetoric/ The literature of Democracy: How Literature Influences Democracy

The Restorative Function of Art/ The Aesthetics of Overcoming Hardship

The Arts as a Model for Democratic Collaboration and Conflict Resolution

How Art Locates/Influences/Creates the Language of Cultural Diversity

The Aesthetics of Politics or Political Aestheticism

The Ethics of Supporting the Arts During Economic Crisis

Virtual Spaces: The Internet and the Globalization of Democracy

Democratic Kitsch

Please send three copies of your manuscript along with an electronic file to:

University of Tennessee
216 Aconda Court
Knoxville, TN 37996

Deadline: June 1, 2009

For more information consult the SOUNDINGS website: http://web.utk.edu/~sounding. You are welcome to direct any further inquiries to Shaun Morgan, Managing Editor, at sounding@utk.edu.