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Re-Thinking Transgression: Cultural Critique, Art Theory, and the Emergence of the Historic Avant-gardes

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Organizer: Brais Outes-Leon

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Throughout the 1920s and 30s, the literary and artistic practices of the historic avant-gardes were surrounded by a robust production of art criticism and journalism that engaged with these new artistic practices. At the same time that the artistic praxis of the historic avant-garde developed, theoreticians, artists and intellectuals developed a wealth of analytical and theoretical discourses that reflected on, made sense of, and expanded contemporary understandings of the historic avant-garde. From the theoretical writings of Le Corbusier, Walter Benjamin, Frank Roh, and Leon Trotzki, to the theoretical texts of José Carlos Mariátegui and Guillermo de Torre, radical thinking went hand in hand with radical innovation throughout the 1920s and 1930s.
Going beyond the genre of the manifesto as a genre and canonical figures, this panel proposes to revisit the early critical and theoretical work that mediated the artistic output of the historic avant-gardes. How was the complex intersection between avant-garde artistic practices and cultural critique negotiated contemporaneously through journalism, theoretical monographs, exhibition catalogues, lectures, radio shows, and other forms of theoretical or conceptual production? What were the intellectual, political, and artistic debates that were stirred by avant-garde practices? What was the role of theory (if any) in aesthetic transgression? Although this CFP is not restricted geographically or to any specific region, we invite colleagues to submit proposals that deal with understudied or often ignored areas of study, peripheral regions and languages in the cultural networks of the historic avant-garde, as well as with inter-disciplinary and multimedia practices. By adopting this approach, this panel proposes to go beyond the canonical texts and figures and to revisit artistic praxis of the historic avant-gardes through avant-garde theory.    
Some of the topics that we propose to analyze are (but are not restricted to):

Journalism in Avant-garde Art Theory and Praxis
Pedagogical Manuals and the Teaching of Avant-garde Aesthetics
Anti-Avant-garde Art Criticism          
Postcolonial Theory and the Historic Avant-gardes
Avant-garde Theory in the Global South
Foreign Critics and the Latin American Object of Study
Avant-garde Art Criticism and Politics
Avant-garde Art Criticism and the Nation
The Impact of European Art Theory in the Global South
The Role of Philosophy, Psychology, and Psychoanalysis in Avant-garde
Avant-garde Movements in the Intellectual History of the Global South 

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