CFP: Failure: Idealism and History (2/15/06; collection)

full name / name of organization: 
Colin Dickey
contact email: 


Proposals are invited for a book on the topic of failure, and its
relationship to idealism and history, to be published in conjunction
with the Journal of Aesthetics and Protest ( We're
interested primarily in those historical and aesthetic "failures" which
are a result of a powerful, if sometimes naive, idealism, out of step
with their own contexts. Either a result of the exhaustion of a moment
and/or movement, pushed to its logical (or illogical) conclusion (such
as the Children's Crusades of 1212, or the Weather Underground), or the
result of the utter misunderstanding of a historical moment (novelist
Yukio Mishima's attempt to re-ignite fascism in post-war Japan). The
question of re-visiting these various cultural, historical, artistic
moments is inevitably an exploration of the relationship between an act
and its historical moment, and bringing that relationship into the
present. While a "success" may seem to be something that determines the
shape of history, failures on a colossal and spectacular scale are often
those things that bring history, culture, and art most sharply into

We're looking for essays, interviews, fiction, poetry, visual
explorations (e.g., photo-essays) or aesthetic experiments that deal
with the topic of failure and its relationship to idealism and history.
Possible topics include: failed utopias, failure and tragedy, failed
political movements (including Marxism), specific literary or artistic
works (such as Gertrude Stein's The Making of Americans, "The first
truly original disaster of modernism"), the "failure" of the Iraq war
protests, various arguments on the "failure" of the avant-garde and/or
modernism, specific theorists' relationship to failure (e.g., Deleuze
and Guattari, Hakim Bey, Derrida), technology and failure, the history
of failure, failure and architecture, alternative psychology movements,
"failed" public art (e.g., Tilted Arc).

Please send a 300 word abstract or description of the project, as a Word
attachment, to Colin Dickey,, by February 15, 2006.
Notification for selected work will be February 28, 2006, and completed
works will be due no later than June 1, 2006.

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Received on Tue Dec 13 2005 - 08:39:43 EST