CFP: [Victorian] Aestheticisms

full name / name of organization: 
Catherine Delyfer

British Aestheticisms : Sources, Genres, Definitions, Evolutions
Université Paul Valéry, Montpellier
2-3 October 2009

Both a social phenomenon, an artistic movement and a literary trend,
British Aestheticism has been the object of multiple, sometimes
contradictory, definitions which all point to its central role in the
advent of modernity. As a movement and as an operative notion Aestheticism
is of major importance to anybody interested in nineteenth and early
twentieth century British culture.
This international conference on ‘British Aestheticisms : Sources, Genres,
Definitions, Evolutions,’ which will take place in October 2009, aims at
reexamining the notion of Aestheticism from a transdisciplinary
perspective and hopes to attract contributions (in French or in English)
from researchers across the fields of British studies, comparative
studies, art history, publishing history, aesthetics, philosophy,
reception theory, women’s studies, queer theory, and gay and lesbian

Papers may focus on the definition and the boundaries of Aestheticism, its
relationship with tradition, and its links with contemporary or subsequent
movements (European Decadence, Modernism, etc.) ; we also encourage
contributions on the generic definition of Aestheticism, its editorial
policies or its circulation and popularization via other media
(periodicals, visual arts, theatre, music-hall) in mainstream culture as
well as in various alternative communities, in the general context of the
explosion of the means of communication and mechanic reproduction, or what
L. Dowling calls artistic « vulgarisation ». What authors were/are
considered aesthetic ? Who read Aesthetic writings (both fiction and
non-fiction), bought or saw Aesthetic products, or attended Aesthetic
performances? Furthermore, as Aestheticism is concomitant with a
re-envisaging of gender and identities, contributors may want to explore
the links between Aestheticism and Victorian feminism and with the 'third
sex'. Finally, one may want to examine the philosophical underpinnings of a
movement based on Kantian philosophy which aimed at challenging oppositions
between aesthetics and ethics : is Aestheticism a subversion, a
redefinition, or a suspension of the oppositions between aesthetics and ethics?

This conference is organised by the CERVEC Research Center (Centre
d'Etudes et de Recherches Victoriennes, Edouardiennes et Contemporaines,
EA 741) of the Université Paul Valéry Montpellier, France. Selected papers
will be published. Please send a 300-word abstract before December 1st,
2008 to AND

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Received on Fri Jun 27 2008 - 05:18:14 EDT