Pataphysics Then & Now - Edited Volume (Abstract Jan. 15, 2015; Papers April 30, 2015)

full name / name of organization: 
Michael R. Taylor & Katie L. Price
contact email: 

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Contributions are sought for PATAPHYSICS THEN & NOW, a collection of essays edited by Michael R. Taylor (Dartmouth) and Katie L. Price (U Toronto).

PATAPHYSICS THEN & NOW will bring together the best recent scholarship about pataphysics—"the science of imaginary solutions" invented by Alfred Jarry (1873-1907)—with special attention to its interdisciplinary and global influence. The volume will engage the topic of pataphysics from a wide range of disciplinary and interdisciplinary perspectives, from literature, art, theatre and music, to philosophy, digital humanities, media studies, and the history of science. Pataphysics has, until recently, been a relatively neglected topic that is nevertheless crucial to understanding a particular strain of experimentation that combines science, the arts, and humor. Tracing the influence of pataphysics asks fundamental questions of the field of modern and contemporary studies by challenging distinctions between the modern and the postmodern; high and low culture; the serious and the comic. The collection aims to provide an overview of how pataphysics has influenced a variety of avant-gardes and artistic practices that are not limited to one region or discipline. These essays will reach beyond the geographic and cultural boundaries normally associated with pataphysics to establish a theory of diverse pataphysical practices. The collection has already received interest from a university press. Topics may include, though are not limited to: the works of Alfred Jarry, translation, experimental music, film, architecture, theatre, Oulipo, pataphysical societies and institutes, material culture, history of ideas, and digital humanities.

Please submit a 300-word abstract and current CV to Katie Price at price.katiel@gmail.com no later than January 15th, 2015. Notifications of interest will be emailed by the end of January. First drafts of essays (6,000-8,000 words, including notes) will be due on April 30th, 2015.

Michael R. Taylor is the Director of the Hood Museum of Art at Dartmouth College. Prior to his appointment at Dartmouth in August 2011, Dr. Taylor served as the Muriel and Philip Berman Curator of Modern Art at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, where he worked for more than fifteen years. A highly regarded curator, author, and expert on modern and contemporary art, he is an eminent scholar of Dada and Surrealism with a focus on the art of Marcel Duchamp. He is the author of Thomas Chimes: Adventures in 'Pataphysics (2007), and his book, Marcel Duchamp: Etant donnés (2009), won the George Wittenborn Prize and was awarded first prize for best museum permanent collection catalogue by the American Association of Art Museum Curators. A native of London, England, Dr. Taylor received Master of Arts degrees from both the University of Edinburgh in Scotland, and the Courtauld Institute of Art in London. He also received his PhD at the Courtauld Institute.

Katie L. Price is an Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in the Humanities at the Jackman Humanities Institute at the University of Toronto. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania with the dissertation, "The Tangential Point": Pataphysical Practice in Postwar Poetry. Her writing has appeared in such publications as Canadian Literature, the Journal of Medical Humanities, Fence, and Jacket2, where she serves as Interviews Editor. In 2014, she was the lead organizer of Philadelphia à la Pataphysique, an arts festival that explored the influence of pataphysics through film screenings, multiple exhibitions, live readings, performances, and an academic conference. She is currently organizing a panel on Alfred Jarry's Legacies for NeMLA in 2015.