CFP: The Popular Avant-garde (10/20/06; ACLA, 4/19/06-4/22/06)

full name / name of organization: 
Renee Silverman

Call for papers for the following seminar on avant-garde studies and
popular culture. Paper proposals with name, affiliation, and contact
information should be submitted to
Authors of accepted proposals will be notified promptly by email.

American Comparative Literature Association (ACLA) annual conference;
Puebla, Mexico, April 19 to 22, 2006

Seminar Title: The Popular Avant-garde
Seminar leader: Renée M. Silverman, Oberlin College

While the avant-garde is customarily thought of as removed from the
realm of the popular, in reality popular art and certain types and
practitioners of avant-garde literature, visual art, and cinema have
regularly drawn upon each other. Fertile exchanges between the avant-
garde and popular culture have enormous potential for political
change, apart from elitist manipulations of mass culture from above.
This seminar invites proposals about avant-garde works that use
textual, visual, or musical forms borrowed from popular art to create
their political and social edge. We will attempt to answer the
following questions: In what ways and under what political and social
conditions do avant-garde artists use forms peculiar to popular art?
How can borrowing popular forms create a political edge? What are the
cultural consequences of incorporating popular forms into avant-garde
works? Is there life beyond mere quotation and empty gestures towards
cultural authenticity?

This seminar broadly construes its object of study as beyond
the "historical" or "modernist" avant-garde, so as to include work not
necessarily contemporaneous with modernism. We will place special
emphasis on twentieth- and twenty-first-century experimental literary
texts, visual art, cinema, and music, including examples of
interdisciplinarity. Of particular interest are papers that examine
non-Western and non-European avant-gardes as well as avant-garde work
from geographical locations traditionally conceived as peripheral to
Europe, such as Spain and Portugal, and Russia and Eastern Europe.
Especially welcome are proposals that deal with Mexico, the Caribbean,
Central and Latin America, and transatlantic Hispanic culture.
Depending on the particular content of the papers to be included on
the seminar, we will explore the ways in which, in these liminal
spaces, the crossing between popular art and the avant-garde can take
on special political urgency or become particularly responsive to the
social needs that popular cultures fulfill.

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Received on Thu Oct 05 2006 - 01:16:19 EDT