CFP: [Cultural-Historical] Theorizing Cultural Activism: Practices, Dilemmas and Potentialities

full name / name of organization: 
Aylin Kuryel
contact email: 

Call for Contributions
Theorizing Cultural Activism: Practices, Dilemmas and Potentialities

        Thamyris/Intersecting: Place, Sex, Race invites articles for an upcoming
volume in its series, titled Theorizing Cultural Activism: Practices,
Dilemmas and Potentialities, which will focus on contemporary cultural
activism that deals with issues of gender, race, queer, inter-cultural
dialogue, political agency and societal transformation within the broader
framework of contemporary anti-capitalist, anti-consumerist and
alternative-globalization struggles with their particular forms, existing
practices, and their further implications and potentialities.
The Yes Men, the Guerilla Girls, Adbusters, Reclaim the Streets, Critical
Art Ensemble, Genderpranks, the Rebel Clown Army, Reverend Billy, Bansky,
the Space Hijackers, Yomango, ÆTMark, Biotic Baking Brigade and Billboard
Liberation Front are now as famous and inspiring as T. W. Adorno, Guy
Debord, or Jean Baudrillard. The actions and campaigns of such groups have
brought about alternative modes in which political activism can be
innovative and destructive. Simultaneously they proved to be inspiring
forms of political art that moves beyond its institutional boundaries as
well as beyond the dichotomy between autonomous and committed art. These
contemporary practices, all of which are directed towards disturbing and
reorienting the cultural and political sphere by attacking the narratives
of truth in the society in one way or another can be summed up under the
notion of a cultural activism that involves different tactics, such as
culture jamming, sousveillance, media hoaxing, adbusting, subvertising,
flash mobs, street art, hacktivism, billboard liberation, and urban
guerilla, to name but a few. While theoretical and historical roots of
these cultural practices can be found in the avant-garde art movements of
the past â€"from Dada and Surrealism to Situationist Internationalâ€" the
socio-cultural contexts in which these actions take place differ greatly
from that of the historical avant-guards and hence deserve to be theorized
in their contemporary specificity.
        Therefore, we invite scholars and activists to think together to provide
various responses and establish a productive dialogue between the
theorizations of the intricacies of our times and activist/subversive
practices that deal with them. The encounter between the insights of
political, social and critical theory and activist visions, suggestions and
actions is both urgent and appealing. We aim to explore this
confrontational collaboration, its limits and productiveness, both in
theory and in practice.
        An important concern is to contextualize practices both in their
specificity and in a broader framework, by considering their predecessors,
their temporal and theoretical neighbors, and allied or hostile relatives.
By doing so, the various manifestations of activist practices in different
localities and their transnational qualities can be elucidated.
        Activist practices are situated at the juncture of power, desire,
identity, political practice, political agency and the dialectic of
subversion and recuperation. Contributions should try to engage with these
coordinates so as to generate various suggestions about the present and
future, subjects and politics, as well as the formation and reformation of
images, spaces, meanings and everyday life. Contributions are expected to
be concerned with rethinking and exploring theoretical concepts and tools
through practice, and comprehend and develop political practice by the help
of theories, both for a better understanding of theory and practice, and
more importantly, for new practical transformatory critical suggestions for
our times.

Please send an abstract of your contribution (300 words maximum) and a
short biographical note by the end of October, 2007 to Aylin Kuryel - and Begum Ozden Fırat -
The deadline for the final articles is February 1, 2008.

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Received on Wed Oct 03 2007 - 04:39:14 EDT