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Contemporary Aesthetics Special Volume “Aesthetics and Terrorism”

Terrorism is unfortunately ubiquitous in the contemporary world. In the post-9/11 era, so-called “political violence” in the form of state or anti-state activity has placed itself at the very center of international politics and policies. But, of course, terrorist violence is not a recent phenomenon; rather, it has always preoccupied the minds of authorities, shattered the every-day routines of citizens, victimized thousands of people, but at the same time intrigued or even fascinated humanity with its unpredictability and suddenness. Through this lens, it is not paradoxical to admit that terrorism looms large in the artistic, literary, and philosophical imagination, and also in aesthetic debates. Although it may at first sound oxymoronic to articulate the concepts of terrorism and aesthetics in a single breath, not only is extreme political violence against (usually) non-combatants relevant to aesthetic matters and preoccupations, but it turns out that there may even be a structural link between the two. Aesthetics, here, does not necessarily hinge upon the question of beauty or artistic representation, but is more broadly defined as aesthetic experience understood as sense perception. In such a context, aesthetic sensibility has a lot to say about how terrorism is represented, employed, disseminated, reproduced, or even opposed.

 

The relationship between aesthetics and terrorism has generated considerable interest, and three articles on the subject have already been published in Contemporary Aesthetics:

  • “Aesthetic Appreciation, Ethics, and 9/11” by Emmanouil Aretoulakis (Vol. 6, 2008)
  • “Art, Terrorism and the Negative Sublime” by Arnold Berleant (Vol. 7, 2009)
  • “Terrorist Aesthetics as Ideal Types: from Spectacle to ‘Vicious Lottery’” by Marshall Battani and Michaelyn Mankel (Vol. 15, 2017)

In light of this interest, Contemporary Aesthetics invites original, innovative, full-length articles that explore the connection between aesthetics and terrorism or terror across cultures, ages, genres, or discourses. CA welcome submissions on topics related (but not limited) to the following:

  • Aesthetic Theories, Political Violence, and the Philosophy of Terror
  • The Aesthetics of Suicide Attacks/Terrorism and the Body
  • The Politics of Aesthetics (or Aesthetics of Politics) in Terror(ism)
  • Radicalization as an Aesthetic Posture
  • Post-9/11 Political Discourse and Aesthetics
  • Ethics, Aesthetics, Narrativity in the Media Communication of Terror
  • Terrorist Discourse and the Sensorial Aspects of Terrorist Communication
  • Terrorism through the Perspective of Art (in its widest sense)
  • Morality, Ethics and Aesthetics in the Artistic Representation of Terror
  • Terrorism as Theatre/Performance
  • Society and the Cultural Imaginary of Terrorism
  • Counter-Terrorism, Law and Aesthetics
  • Urban Defense, Architecture and (Counter)Terrorism
  • Terrorism, Aesthetics and Ecological Consciousness
  • Postcolonial Aesthetics, Imagination and Terror
  • Religious (or not) Terrorism and the Aesthetics of Pain/Suffering
  • Aesthetics, Terror, Culture, and the 21st Century

Length: maximum 7,000 words, including abstract and notes. Only electronic submissions are acceptable. Deadline for submitting the full article and a short CV is October 31, 2018.

The article should be attached (as a word document) to your e-mail and sent to the guest editor,

Dr. Emmanouil Aretoulakis emmareto@enl.uoa.gr.

For submission guidelines, see:  http://www.contempaesthetics.org/pages/guidelines.html