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CFP: Avant-Garde Realisms in 20th-Century Visual Culture and Literature (Nagoya, 28-29 Sep 18)

This interdisciplinary symposium is organized to explore multiple perspectives of realism, especially in 20th-century avant-garde visual culture and literature.

The notions of realism in 20th-century avant-garde culture are particularly complex and multifarious. After the inception of “conceptual realism” in Cubist theory, “reality” came to concern not only the things we objectively see or subjectively feel, but also the materiality and thingness of object (like Picasso’s papier collé), or even abstract ideas. This diversification of the definitions of “reality” and “realism” gave birth to abstract-realistic painting, first referred to in 1917 by Piet Mondrian and later seen in the Salon des réalités nouvelles, organized for the first time in 1939 by the artists gathered in Robert Delaunay’s atelier. Surrealism—searching in dream, fantasy, and unconsciousness the “internal model” beyond the “external model”—could also be considered a new way of defining “reality.” At the same time, “reality” could also refer to “social realities,” as perceived in Socialist Realism. In this regard, debates on art, society, and politics were essential in the cultural and intellectual scenes of the 1930s, as seen in Défense de la culture and Querelle du réalisme. Finally, we also have reality as everyday life, not as banality but as fantasized quotidienneté, theorized from the 1920s to the 1960s by Surrealism, Magic Realism, Fantastic Realism, and Nouveau Réalisme.

In order to address this expansive topic, global understanding of cultural and intellectual movements will be necessary. The objective of this symposium is to discuss what we could call “avant-garde realisms” in 20th-century visual culture and literature, from 1914 to 1968, including (but not limited to) the late Cubism, Surrealism, Magic Realism, Fantastic Realism, Nouveau Réalisme, and Figuration Nouvelle, by bringing together scholars from a wide range of disciplinary backgrounds, including those with interests in the history of art, literature, theater, photography, and cinema.

1. Presentations:
We are inviting submission of abstracts of no more than 300 words, for papers suitable for a presentation of approximately 20 minutes. Please submit your abstract and a brief CV to Hiromi Matsui by email at: no later than Saturday, April 7, 2018.

2. Keynote Speakers:
- Romy Golan (The Graduate Center of the City University of New York)
- Ségolène Le Men (Université Paris Nanterre)
- Sarah Wilson (The Courtauld Institute of Art)

3. Language: English or French

4. Coordinators:
- Hiromi Matsui (Nagoya University)
- Yuuki Yamamoto (Japan Society for the Promotion of Science)
- Yusuke Isotani (The Graduate Center of the City University of New York)


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