Aestheticism Now! (ACLA Chicago Seminar)
To whom does aestheticism belong? Traditionally critiqued as an outgrowth of western bourgeois culture, aestheticism, with its assorted attributes (including aesthetic detachment, disinterestedness, and autonomy) seems ill equipped to respond to our contemporary concerns with marginalization, power imbalances, and the reproduction of hegemonic structures. And yet, the commitment to aesthetic detachment continues to pop up in seemingly unlikely places—in various corners of postcolonial literary production and in the writings of political exiles and Holocaust survivors. We therefore ask to whom aestheticism belongs today, who makes use of it, to what ends, and under what circumstances? We are casting as wide net as possible: we are interested in reconfigurations of aestheticism in western cultures that originally produced the ideology of aesthetic detachment, but even more so in texts coming from peripheral spaces and written in marginalized languages.
Please send an abstract (ca. 200 words) and a short bio directly through the ACLA website: https://www.acla.org/aestheticism-now
Potential participants don’t have to be members of ACLA at the time of abstract submission, but will have to join before the conference in order to present.